Abstract

Nanoparticles have been speculated as good in-situ agents for solving reservoir engineering problems. Some selected types of nanoparticles that are likely to be used include oxides of Aluminium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Zirconium, Nickel, Tin and Silicon. It is therefore imperative to find out the effect of these nanoparticle oxides on oil recovery since this is the primary objective of the oil industry. These nanoparticles were used to conduct EOR experiments under surface conditions. Distilled water, brine, ethanol and diesel were used as the dispersing media for the nanoparticles. Two sets of experiments were conducted. The first involved displacing the injected oil with the nanofluids. In the second case, the sands were soaked in nanofluids for 60 days before oil was injected into the system and displaced with low salinity brine. Generally, using nanofluids to displace injected oil produced a better result.

Results obtained from the experiments indicate that Aluminium oxide and Silicon oxide are good agents for EOR. Aluminium oxide nanoparticle is good for oil recovery when used with distilled water and brine as dispersing agents. For the use of ethanol, Silane treated Silicon oxide gave the highest recovery in all the conducted experiments while hydrophobic Silicon oxide in ethanol also yielded good results. Aluminium oxide reduces oil viscosity while Silicon oxide changes rock wettability in addition to reduction of interfacial tension between oil and water caused by the presence of ethanol. For the use of diesel as a nanoparticle dispersing fluid, because diesel and crude oil are miscible, the actual crude oil recovery cannot be determined but the overall result with Aluminium, Nickel and Iron oxides appears good. Magnesium oxide and Zinc oxide dispersed in distilled water and brine cause permeability problems. Generally, distilled water lowers oil recovery. This emphasizes the significant role a fluid plays as a nanoparticle dispersing agent in the formation because it can contribute positively or negatively in oil recovery apart from the effect of the nanoparticles.

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