Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Nanoparticles
- N.A. Ogolo (University of Port Harcourt) | O.A. Olafuyi (University of Port Harcourt) | M.O. Onyekonwu (University of Port Harcourt)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Saudi Arabia Section Technical Symposium and Exhibition, 8-11 April, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), , 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.4.3 Fines Migration, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing
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Nanoparticles have various uses in the oil and gas industry. Its use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is beginning to emerge. The performance of some nanoparticles in EOR is investigated in this work. EOR experiments were performed using nine different types of nanoparticles dispersed in four different fluids. The nanoparticles used are Magnesium oxide, Aluminium oxide, Zinc oxide, Zirconium oxide, Tin oxide, Iron oxide, Nickel oxide, hydrophobic Silicon oxide and Silicon oxide treated with silane.
Experimental results indicate that some of these nanoparticles are good EOR agents and ethanol can enhance the performance of some of these nanoparticles. The mechanisms through which oil is enhanced using these nano agents were also investigated. These include change of rock wettability, reduction of interfacial tension, reduction of oil viscosity, reduction of mobility ratio and permeability alterations. From experimental results, it is expected that some nanoparticles application in EOR will maximize recovery and boost hydrocarbon production.
Application of nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry is just emerging. Recent research projects have shown that nanotechnology has the potential to solve or manage several problems in the petroleum industry. One of the speculated areas of application is in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). EOR is especially important now because of the recent global rise in energy demand which is expected to be met by the oil and gas industry. The ability of nanoparticles to alter certain factors in the formation and in oil properties can be taken advantage of to enhance recovery. This involves introducing these nanoparticles into formations and studying its effect on oil recovery.
The wettability of a formation can be changed by nanoparticles. It has been reported that water wet formations produce better than oil wet formations (Binshang et al, 2005) while intermediately wet formations produce better than water wet formations (Dong et al, 2006). The use of nanoparticles to change rock wettability and its subsequent effect on oil recovery has been reported by several authors (Ju et al, 2006, Binshang et al 2009, Ju et al, 2009 and Qinfeng et al 2009). Silicon oxide dispersed in ethanol has also been reported to give good results (Onyekonwu et al, 2010), however the effect of ethanol alone on oil recovery was not reported. This work therefore investigates among other things the effect of ethanol alone and ethanol with various nanoparticles on oil recovery. The contribution of the nanoparticles to the total oil recovery was also determined.
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