Many laboratory experiments and field tests have shown improved oil recovery by manipulating wettability of reservoir rocks. Until recently, most of what is known about crude oil/brine/rock (COBR) interactions has been inferred from contact angle measurements, which are considered to be macro physical parameters. Advancement of surface analytical tools enables us to characterize structures of crude oil deposition as a function of brine salinity, temperature and asphaltene content at nano-scale resolution.
The non contact mode of vertical scanning interferometry (VSI) is utilised as a tool to study COBR interaction for the first time. A borosilicate glass surface used as a substrate for crude oil deposition as a function of brine salinity, temperature and asphaltene content. The main results it provides the first direct evidence of thickness of adsorption oil is largely minimised as NaCl brine salinity diluted. Furthermore the temperature shows to enhance the accumulation of oil adsorption. Three dimensional view of crude oil morphology indicate the absence of asphaltene content generate wider valleys features than the asphaltenic oil morphology. The oil solvency generates a dendritic crude oil adsorption when crude oil is mixed with heptane whereas a very thin layer when crude oil is mixed with toluene. A detail analysis of surface profile is conducted using two and three dimensional parameters.