Some nanoparticles that exhibit potentials to control fines migration in sands have been studied. The effect of crude oil on the performance of these nanoparticles is important because these nanoparticles are proposed for application in hydrocarbon reservoirs. Two fines control experiments were conducted with these nanoparticles in the absence and in the presence of crude oil. The nanoparticles used were zinc oxide, iron oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminium oxide, zirconium oxide, nickel oxide, tin oxide, silane treated silicon oxide and hydrophobic silicon oxide. These nanoparticles were dispersed in distilled water, brine, and ethanol.

The study reveals that the presence of crude oil affects the performance of nanoparticles in trapping fines in sand. While the performance of some nanoparticles in preventing fines migration under certain conditions in porous media and in the presence of crude oil was enhanced, the performance of other nanoparticles deteriorated. The effect is partly dependent on the type of nanoparticles and the nanoparticles fluid dispersant used. A sound knowledge of the nanoparticle performance trend in hydrocarbon reservoirs is essential before they can be recommended for use in reservoirs. The results also emphasize the need to perform laboratory experiments aimed at solving reservoir problems in the presence of crude oil since its effect can improve or hamper the performance of deployed agents.

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