Development of Structure-Property Relationships for Steam Foam Additives for Heavy Oil Recovery
- Thu Nguyen (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Ajay Raj (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Renke Rommerskirchen (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Jorge Fernandez (Sasol Performance Chemicals)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on Oilfield Chemistry, 8-9 April, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 2 Well completion, 5.4 Improved and Enhanced Recovery, 2.4 Hydraulic Fracturing
- heavy oil recovery, surfactants, thermal, steam foam additives
- 6 in the last 30 days
- 168 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 9.50|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 28.00|
Low steam viscosity during steam injection can cause steam override and channeling issues for heavy oil recovery, resulting in high operating cost and low oil recovery. One of the common methods to increase the viscosity of steam is by co-injecting surfactants that generate stable foams with steam. The objective of this research is to develop structure-property relationships for surfactants in order to identify surfactant candidates as the steam foam additives for heavy oil recovery.
In this study, alkyl propoxy ethoxy ether carboxylate (alkyl PO EO ECA) surfactants were evaluated. Surfactant solutions at 1 wt% prepared in 1 wt% NaCl were aged at up to 250 °C in Parr reactors for up to 2 weeks. The degradation of the surfactants was quantified based on High Performance Liquid Chromatography profiles of the surfactants before and after the aging process. The foaming performance of the surfactants was evaluated at 1 wt% concentration at varied temperatures from 100 to 250 °C in a high temperature high pressure visual cell. Sand-packed columns were performed to evaluate the ability of the surfactant to increase the apparent viscosity of steam.
The results showed that alkyl PO EO ECA surfactants exhibit excellent chemical stability at up to 250 °C. However, the chemical stability of these surfactants are dependent on the hydrophobe structure as well as the numbers of PO and EO units of the surfactants. Among the studied surfactants, only ECA surfactants with specific structures were able to generate stable foam at 250 °C. It was found that the ECA surfactants with both PO and EO units and a long branched hydrophobe demonstrated to be excellent foaming agents that were able to increase the apparent viscosity of steam by three orders of magnitude at 250 °C in sand-pack columns. In the presence of bitumen, these surfactants were able to increase the steam apparent viscosity by two orders of magnitude. This increase in the steam apparent viscosity is sufficient to overcome the steam override and channeling during steam injection.
Past research has randomly identified some sulfonate and ether carboxylate surfactants as foaming agents for steam EOR processes. This work, however, evaluated these surfactants systematically in order to develop the structure-property relationships that can be used to optimize surfactants as steam foaming agents for thermal EOR processes at up to 250 °C.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||15|
Al-Khafaji A.H., Wang, P.F., Castanier, L.M.. 1982. Steam Surfactant Systems at Reservoir Conditions. Presented at the SPE California Regional Meeting, San Francisco, California, 24-26 March. https://doi.org/10.2118/10777-MS.
Castanier, L. and Brigham, W.1991. An Evaluation of Field Projects of Steam with Surfactants. SPE Reservoir Engineering, 6 (1), 62-68. https://doi.org/10.2118/17633-PA.
Cimolai, M.P., Solanki, S.C., and Edmunds, N.R.2010. Passive Reservoir Heating for Improved Bitumen Recovery. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, 49 (11), 30-42. https://doi.org/10.2118/139772-PA.
Cuenca, A., Lacombe, E. and Morvan, M.. 2014. Design of Thermally Stable Surfactants Formulations for Steam Foam Injection. Presented at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference-Canada, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 10-12 June. SPE-170129-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/170129-MS.
Delamaide, E., Cuenca, A., Chabert, M. 2016. State of the Art Review of the Steam Foam Process. Presented at the SPE Latin America and Caribbean Heavy and Extra Heavy Oil Conference, Lima, Peru, 19-20 October. https://doi.org/10.2118/181160-MS.
Doscher, T.M. and Hammershaimb, E.C.1982. Field Demonstration of Steam Drive with Ancillary Materials. Journal of Petroleum Engineers, 34 (7), 1535-1542. https://doi.org/10.2118/9777-PA.
Farouq Ali, S.M. and Abad, B.1976. Bitumen Recovery from Oil Sands, Using Solvents in Conjuntion with Steam. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, 15 (3), 80-90. https://doi.org/10.2118/76-03-11.
Friedmann, F., Smith, M., Guice, W.. 1994. Steam-Foam Mechanistic Field Trial in the Midway-Sunset. SPE Reservoir Engineering, 9 (4), 297-304. https://doi.org/10.2118/21780-PA.
Green, M.K. and Isaacs, E.E.1986. Laboratory Investigation on the Use of Foam Forming Surfactants during Steam Injection. Presented at the Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, Alberta, 8-11 June. https://doi.org/10.2118/86-37-02.
Isaacs, E.E., Green, M.K., Jossy, W.E.. 1992. Conformance Improvement by Using High Temperature Foams and Gels. Presented at the SPE Latin America Petroleum Engineering Conference, Caracas, Venezuela, 8-11 March. https://doi.org/10.2118/23754-MS.
Larter, S.R., Adams, J., Gates, I.D.. 2006. The Origin, Prediction and Impact of Oil Viscosity Heterogeneity on the Production Characteristics of Tar Sand and Heavy Oil Reservoirs. Presented at the Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta, 13-15 June. PETSOC 2006-134. https://doi.org/10.2118/2006-134.
Lau, H.C. 2012. Alkaline Steam Foam: Concepts and Experimental Results. SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, 15 (4), 445-452. https://doi.org/10.2118/144968-PA.
Leyva-Gomez, H. and Babadagli, T.2011. Optimal Application Conditions for Heavy-Oil/Bitumen Recovery by Solvent Injection at Elevated Temperatures. Presented at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 12-14 December. https://doi.org/10.2118/150315.
Muijs, H.M., Keijer, P.P.M and Wiersma, R.J.1988. Surfactans for Mobility Control in High- Temperature Steam-Foam Applications. Presented at the SPE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 16-21 April. SPE-17361-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/17361-MS.
Mukherjee, B., Patil, P.D., Gao, M.. 2018. Laboratory Evaluation of Novel Surfactant for Foam Assisted Steam EOR Method to Improve Conformance Control for Field Applications. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, 14-18 April. https://doi.org/10.2118/190263-MS.
Nasr, T.N., Beaulieu, G., Golbeck, H.. 2001. Of Steam and Solvent. Presented at SPE/CIM Eighth One-Day Conference on Horizontal Well Technology, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 7 November. https://doi.org/10.2118/CIM-01-07-PT.
Nasr, T.N. and Ayodele, O.R.2005. Thermal Techniques for the Recovery of Heavy Oil and Bitumen. Presented at the SPE International Improved Oil Recovery Conference in Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 December. SPE 97488. https://doi.org/10.2118/97488-MS.
Nasr, T.N. and Ayodele, O.R.2006. New Hybrid Steam-Solvent Processes for the Recovery of Heavy Oil and Bitumen. Presented at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conferene, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5-8 November. https://doi.org/10.2118/101717-MS.
Romaniuk, N., Little, L., Arguelles, F.A.. 2013. Effect of Bitumen Viscosity and Bitumen- Water Interfacial Tension on the Efficiency of Steam Assisted Bitumen Recovery Processes. Presented at the SPE Western Regional & AAPG Pacific Section Meeting 2013 Joint Technical Conference, Monterey, California, 19-25 April. https://doi.org/10.2118/165369-MS.
Sanders, A., Nguyen, M.N., Ren, G.. 2017. Development of Novel Foaming Agents for High Temperature Steam Applications. Presented at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13-16 November. https://doi.org/10.2118/188682-MS.
Simjoo, M., Rezaei, T., Andrianov. 2013. Foam Stability in the Presence of Oil: Effect of Surfactant Concentration and Oil Type. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 438, 148-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/bcolsurfa.2013.05.062.
Sood, A. 2016. Convective SAGD Process. Presented at the SPE Canada Heavy Oil Technical Conference, Calgary, Alberta, 7-9 June. SPE-180734-MS. https://doi-org/10.2118/180734-MS.
Zhao, L. 2007. Steam Alternating Solvent Process. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 10 (2), 185-190. https://doi.org/10.2118/86957-PA.