Wettability Studies Using Low-Salinity Water in Sandstone Reservoirs
- Mohammed B. Alotaibi (Texas A&M University) | Ramez A. Nasralla (Texas A&M University) | Hisham A. Nasr-El-Din (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 713 - 725
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems
- High temperature, Low?Salinity Water, Sandstone Reservoir, Contact Angles, Wettability
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The ionic strength of injection water can have a major impact on oil recovery resulting from the use of low-salinity brines. Understanding how the water and oil chemistry affects the final recovery from a physicochemical point of view is necessary in order to optimize low-salinity waterflooding. It is clear from the literature that wettability is a key factor in achieving the low-salinity effect. Optimum ionic strength and conditions for low-salinity flooding with respect to wettability are still uncertain.
In this paper, we studied fluid/rock interactions at different salinity levels and elevated temperature conditions in terms of wettability and surface charge. Wettability is determined by a high-temperature/high-pressure (HT/HP) contact-angle method and zeta-potential technique. Outcrop rocks and stock-tank crude-oil samples were used in all experiments. Synthetic formation brines, aquifer, and seawater were evaluated under high-pressure conditions. Zeta potential of sandstone rocks and selected clay minerals was measured as a function of ionic strength.
Wettability of oil/brine/sandstone systems depends on salinity, temperature, and rock mineralogy. Using aquifer water in Berea sandstone improved the wettability toward water-wet condition. The same aquifer water behaved in a different way when a different sandstone surface was tested. In Scioto sandstone, aquifer water changed the wettability to neutral state. Low-salinity water expanded the double-layer thickness and eventually increased the zeta-potential magnitude. As a result of this expansion, it provides a greater opportunity to alter the wettability and enhance oil recovery. This study indicates that clay content in sandstone rocks can significantly alter the wettability either toward water-wet or intermediate. On the basis of the results obtained from this study, it is clear that low-salinity waterflooding can improve oil recovery in the field.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||13|
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