Align with current dynamic technology development, waterflooding techniques have been improved and optimized to have better oil recovery performance. In addition the latest worldwide industries innovation trends are miniaturization and nanotechnology materials such as nanoparticles. Hence one of the ideas is using nanoparticles to assist waterflood performance. However it is crucial to have a clear depiction of some parameters that may influences displacement process.
The focus of this study is to investigate the effects of some parameters influencing oil recovery process due to nanoparticles such as particle size, rock permeability, initial rock wettability, injection rate and temperature. This study is part of our ongoing research in developing nanofluids for future or alternative enhanced oil recovery (Nano-EOR) method.
Three different sizes of hydrophilic silica nanoparticles with single particle diameter range from 7 to 40 nm were employed and have been characterized under scanning electron microscope (SEM). Nanofluids were synthesized using 0.05 wt.% nanoparticles that dispersed into synthetic brine (NaCl 3 wt.% ~ 30,000 ppm). The contact angle variation due to nanoparticles size was also measured at room condition. Coreflood experiment has been conducted using 26 Berea sandstone cores to evaluate the effect of those parameters above on oil recovery due to Nano-EOR. The cores permeability was in range from 5 to 450 mD. To study the effect of initial rock wettability on oil recovery due to Nano-EOR, original core wettability has been changed with aging process from water-wet to intermediate and oil-wet respectively. Temperature was also studied in range 25-80 °C to fulfill the possibility of applying Nano-EOR at reservoir temperature.
The coreflood testing was repeated for each case to have consistency result. The processes and results are outlined and also further detailed in the paper to bring knowledge about nanoparticles flooding as a future promising EOR method.