Acidic resins naturally occurring in crude have been found to be responsible for a variety of interfacial phenomena in oil-aqueous systems. Those components which colloidally suspend high molecular weight asphaltene particles may also be used in enhanced recovery processes to inhibit asphaltene deposition in porous media. This paper presents results of laboratory core flooding tests using a microwave absorption technique to monitor in-situ oil/water saturations during enhanced recovery by alkaline flooding.
Resinous additives were found to significantly alter permeability reductions caused by asphaltene deposition and to affect the formation of a single and continuous oil bank during the laboratory core flood. Data were also obtained for the dynamic interfacial tension, electrophoretic mobility and emulsion stability for the whole crude/aqueous solution with and without the resinous additives.
These observations, combined with microwave analysis are used to suggest a possible mechanism for improved oil recovery through the prevention of asphaltene deposition and resulting permeability reductions.