Abstract

Dimethyl ether (DME) is considered to be a potential Enhanced Oil Recovery EOR agent for enhanced waterflooding. Due to its first contact miscibility in hydrocarbons and partial high solubility in water/brine, it partitions preferentially into the hydrocarbon phase upon contact when DME-brine solution is injected into the reservoir. As a result, the residual oil swells and its viscosity is reduced which in turn leads to significantly higher ultimate oil recovery. The amount of swelling and viscosity-reduction depends on the extent of DME partitioning and its availability along with the systems pressure and temperature. In the DME-oil mixing zone, and DME-water zone, the estimation of the DME-Hydrocarbon and DME-water viscosities is crucial to evaluate and understand the performance of DME-enhanced waterflooding (DEW) at reservoir or lab/pilot-scale. Among those, there is no systematic viscosity data found for DME-brine systems, especially for the condition of interest (reservoir conditions). Viscosity of DME-Hydrocarbon follows the traditional mixing rules and expectations quite well; while viscosity of DME-water shown to exhibits very different behavior than expected. In this paper, we present new data on the systematic density and viscosity measurements for DME and Water for the first time. Such essential transport data is necessary to be able to evaluate the DME/DEW injection potential for various applications, from EOR/IOR to near wellbore stimulation.

Some of the important features of this study are:

  • New data for the literature to be used for DME and DME enhanced waterflooding

  • Correlation development for the measured data.

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