Improving Oil Recovery in the Wolfcamp Reservoir by Soaking/Flowback Production Schedule With Surfactant Additives
- Johannes O. Alvarez (Texas A&M University) | Francisco D. Tovar (Texas A&M University) | David S. Schechter (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- November 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,083 - 1,096
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- unconventional liquid reservoirs, Enhance Oil Recovery, Wettability, Surfactants, Soaking-Flowback
- 10 in the last 30 days
- 249 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
Improving oil recovery from unconventional liquid reservoirs (ULRs) is a major challenge. We have demonstrated in previous laboratory studies the effect of surfactants on spontaneous imbibition and oil recovery by means of wettability alteration and interfacial-tension (IFT) reduction. Thereby, fracture-treatment performance and consequently oil recovery could be improved by adding surfactants to stimulation fluids when a soaking/flowback production schedule is applied. This study evaluates the ability of different groups of surfactants to improve oil recovery in ULRs by experimentally simulating the fracture treatment to represent surfactant imbibition in a ULR core fracture during soaking and flowback. In addition, we analyze the effects of wettability and IFT alteration as well as surfactant adsorption on the process. A coreflooding system was combined with the computed-tomography (CT) scanner to dynamically visualize the fluid movement as it penetrates the ULR sample in real time as well as compare oil recovery between surfactants and water without additive. Wolfcamp sidewall cores were longitudinally fractured and loaded into an aluminum/carbon-composite core holder. Two different types of surfactants—anionic and nonionic/cationic—as well as water without surfactants were injected through the fractures at reservoir conditions to evaluate their effectiveness in penetrating into the fractures and recovering oil from a ULR core. Then, a soaking/flowback production scheme was used to simulate fracture treatment and flowback. Changes in core wettability and IFT were determined by contact-angle (CA) and pendant-drop methods. Coreflooding results showed that surfactant solutions had higher imbibition and recovered more oil from liquid-rich core compared with water alone. The soaking/flowback production schedule aided by surfactants was able to recover up to 14% of the original oil in place (OOIP), whereas water alone recovered up to 2% of the OOIP. These observations qualitatively agree with wettability- and IFT-alteration measurements. Core wettability shifted from an original oil-wet to a final water-wet state, and surfactants reduced IFT to moderately low values. In addition, surfactants showed adsorption capacity following a Langmuir-type adsorption profile. The results showed that the addition of surfactants to completion fluids and the use of a soaking/flowback production scheme could improve oil recovery by wettability alteration and IFT reduction, maximizing well performance after stimulation. These findings provide an important understanding for designing completion-fluid treatments and flowback schedules for ULRs.
|File Size||722 KB||Number of Pages||14|
Adibhatla, B. and Mohanty, K. K. 2008. Oil Recovery From Fractured Carbonates by Surfactant-Aided Gravity Drainage: Laboratory Experiments and Mechanistic Simulations. SPE Res Eval & Eng 11 (1): 119–130. SPE-99773-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/99773-PA.
Alharthy, N., Teklu, T., Kazemi, H. et al. 2015. Enhanced Oil Recovery in Liquid-Rich Shale Reservoirs: Laboratory to Field. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 28–30 September. SPE-175034-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/175034-MS.
Alvarez, J. and Han, S. 2013. Current Overview of Cyclic Steam Injection Process. J. Pet. Sci. Res. 2 (3): 116–127.
Alvarez, J. O. and Schechter, D. S. 2016a. Application of Wettability Alteration in the Exploitation of Unconventional Liquid Resources. Pet. Explor. Devel. 43 (5): 832–840. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1876-3804(16)30099-4.
Alvarez, J. O. and Schechter, D. S. 2016b. Wettability, Oil and Rock Characterization of the Most Important Unconventional Liquid Reservoirs in the United States and the Impact on Oil Recovery. Presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 1–3 August. URTEC-2461651-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2016-2461651.
Alvarez, J. O. and Schechter, D. S. 2017. Wettability Alteration and Spontaneous Imbibition in Unconventional Liquid Reservoirs by Surfactant Additives. SPE Res Eval & Eng 20 (1): 107–117. SPE-177057-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/177057-PA.
Alvarez, J. O., Neog, A., Jais, A. et al. 2014. Impact of Surfactants for Wettability Alteration in Stimulation Fluids and the Potential for Surfactant EOR in Unconventional Liquid Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Unconventional Resources Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, 1–3 April. SPE-169001-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169001-MS.
Alvarez, J. O., Saputra, I. W. R., and Schechter, D. S. 2017a. The Impact of Surfactant Imbibition and Adsorption for Improving Oil Recovery in the Wolfcamp and Eagle Ford Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 9–11 October. SPE-187176-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/187176-MS.
Alvarez, J. O., Saputra, I. W. R., and Schechter, D. S. 2017b. Potential of Improving Oil Recovery With Surfactant Additives to Completion Fluids for the Bakken. Energy Fuels 31 (6): 5982–5994. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b00573.
Anderson, W. G. 1986a. Wettability Literature Survey—Part 1: Rock/Oil/Brine Interactions and the Effects of Core Handling on Wettability. J Pet Technol 38 (10): 1125–1144. SPE-13932-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/13932-PA.
Anderson, W. G. 1986b. Wettability Literature Survey—Part 2: Wettability Measurement. J Pet Technol 38 (11): 1246–1262. SPE-13933-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/13933-PA.
Austad, T. and Milter, J. 1997. Spontaneous Imbibition of Water Into Low Permeable Chalk at Different Wettabilities Using Surfactants. Presented at the International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, Houston, 18–21 February. SPE-37236-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/37236-MS.
Austad, T., Matre, B., Milter, J. et al. 1998. Chemical Flooding of Oil Reservoirs 8. Spontaneous Oil Expulsion From Oil- and Water-Wet Low Permeable Chalk Material by Imbibition of Aqueous Surfactant Solutions. Colloid. Surface. A 137 (1–3): 117–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0927-7757(97)00378-6.
Babadagli, T., Al-Bemani, A., and Boukadi, F. 1999. Analysis of Capillary Imbibition Recovery Considering the Simultaneous Effects of Gravity, Low IFT, and Boundary Conditions. Presented at the SPE Asia Pacific Improved Oil Recovery Conference, Kuala Lumpur, 25–26 October. SPE-57321-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/57321-MS.
Barba, R. E. 2015. Liquids Rich Organic Shale Recovery Factor Application. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 28–30 September. SPE-174994-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/174994-MS.
Basu, S. and Sharma, M. M. 1997. Characterization of Mixed-Wettability States in Oil Reservoirs by Atomic Force Microscopy. SPE J. 2 (4): 427–435. SPE-35572-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/35572-PA.
Buckley, J. S., Liu, Y., and Monsterleet, S. 1998. Mechanisms of Wetting Alteration by Crude Oils. SPE J. 3 (1): 54–61. SPE-37230-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/37230-PA.
Chen, H. L., Lucas, L. R., Nogaret, L. A. D. et al. 2001. Laboratory Monitoring of Surfactant Imbibition With Computerized Tomography. SPE Res Eval & Eng 4 (1): 16–25. SPE-69197-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/69197-PA.
Doman, L. 2015. Today in Energy: US Remained World’s Largest Producer of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hydrocarbons in 2014. US Energy Information Administration, 7 April 2015, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20692# (accessed 12 February 2017).
Downs, H. H. and Hoover, P. D. 1989. Enhanced Oil Recovery by Wettability Alteration. Laboratory and Field Pilot Waterflood Studies. In Oil-Field Chemistry, ed. J. K. Borchardt and T. F. Yen, Chap. 32, 577–595. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
Energy Information Administration (EIA). 2017. Drilling Productivity Report. US Energy Information Administration, November 2017.
Flowers, S. 2017. Where Are the Tight Oil Plays Outside the US? Eight Countries With Potential. Wood Mackenzie, 12 December 2017, https://www.woodmac.com/zh/news/the-edge/tight-oil-plays-outside-the-us/ (accessed 15 October 2017).
Gupta, R. and Mohanty, K. K. 2011. Wettability Alteration Mechanism for Oil Recovery From Fractured Carbonate Rocks. Transport Porous Med. 87 (2): 635–652. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-010-9706-5.
Handwerger, D. A., Keller, J., and Vaughn, K. 2011. Improved Petrophysical Core Measurements on Tight Shale Reservoirs Using Retort and Crushed Samples. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October–2 November. SPE-147456-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/147456-MS.
Hirasaki, G. and Zhang, D. L. 2004. Surface Chemistry of Oil Recovery From Fractured, Oil-Wet, Carbonate Formations. SPE J. 9 (2): 151–162. SPE-88365-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/88365-PA.
Hirasaki, G. J. 1991. Wettability: Fundamentals and Surface Forces. SPE Form Eval 6 (2): 217–226. SPE-17367-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/17367-PA.
Kao, R. L., Wasan, D. T., Nikolov, A. D. et al. 1988. Mechanisms of Oil Removal From a Solid Surface in the Presence of Anionic Micellar Solutions. Colloid. Surface. 34 (4): 389–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/0166-6622(88)80163-X.
Kumar, K., Dao, E. K., and Mohanty, K. K. 2008. Atomic Force Microscopy Study of Wettability Alteration by Surfactants. SPE J. 13 (2): 137–145. SPE-93009-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/93009-PA.
Mirchi, V., Saraji, S., Goual, L. et al. 2014a. Dynamic Interfacial Tensions and Contact Angles of Surfactant-in-Brine/Oil/Shale Systems: Implications to Enhanced Oil Recovery in Shale Oil Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 12–16 April. SPE-169171-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169171-MS.
Mirchi, V., Saraji, S., Goual, L. et al. 2014b. Experimental Investigation of Surfactant Flooding in Shale Oil Reservoirs: Dynamic Interfacial Tension, Adsorption, and Wettability. Presented at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, 25–27 August. URTEC-1913287-MS. https://doi.org/10.15530/URTEC-2014-1913287.
Mohammed, M. and Babadagli, T. 2015. Wettability Alteration: A Comprehensive Review of Materials/Methods and Testing the Selected Ones on Heavy-Oil Containing Oil-Wet Systems. Adv. Colloid Interf. Sci. 220 (June): 54–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cis.2015.02.006.
Nguyen, D., Wang, D., Oladapo, A. et al. 2014. Evaluation of Surfactants for Oil Recovery Potential in Shale Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 12–16 April. SPE-169085-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169085-MS.
Odusina, E. O., Sondergeld, C. H., and Rai, C. S. 2011. NMR Study of Shale Wettability. Presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 15–17 November. SPE-147371-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/147371-MS.
Salehi, M., Johnson, S. J., and Liang, J.-T. 2008. Mechanistic Study of Wettability Alteration Using Surfactants With Applications in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Langmuir 24 (24): 14099–14107. https://doi.org/10.1021/la802464u.
Sánchez-Martín, M. J., Dorado, M. C., del Hoyo, C. et al. 2008. Influence of Clay Mineral Structure and Surfactant Nature on the Adsorption Capacity of Surfactants by Clays. J. Hazard. Mater. 150 (1): 115–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.04.093.
Schechter, D. S., Zhou, D., and Orr, F. M. Jr. 1994. Low IFT Drainage and Imbibition. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 11 (4): 283–300. https://doi.org/10.1016/0920-4105(94)90047-7.
Sheng, J. J. 2015. Status of Surfactant EOR Technology. Petroleum 1 (2): 97–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petlm.2015.07.003.
Shuler, P. J., Tang, H., Lu, Z. et al. 2011. Chemical Process for Improved Oil Recovery From Bakken Shale. Presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 15–17 November. SPE-147531-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/147531-MS.
Standnes, D. C. and Austad, T. 2000a. Wettability Alteration in Chalk: 1. Preparation of Core Material and Oil Properties. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 28 (3): 111–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(00)00083-8.
Standnes, D. C. and Austad, T. 2000b. Wettability Alteration in Chalk: 2. Mechanism for Wettability Alteration from Oil-Wet to Water-Wet Using Surfactants. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 28 (3): 123–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(00)00084-X.
Valluri, M. K., Alvarez, J. O., and Schechter, D. S. 2016. Study of the Rock/Fluid Interactions of Sodium and Calcium Brines With Ultra-Tight Rock Surfaces and Their Impact on Improving Oil Recovery by Spontaneous Imbibition. Presented at the SPE Low Perm Symposium, Denver, 5–6 May. SPE-180274-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180274-MS.
Wang, D., Butler, R., Zhang, J. et al. 2012. Wettability Survey in Bakken Shale With Surfactant-Formulation Imbibition. SPE Res Eval & Eng 15 (6): 695–705. SPE-153853-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/153853-PA.
Washburn, E. W. 1921. Dynamics of Capillary Flow. Phys. Rev. 17: 374–375.
Xu, L. and Fu, Q. 2012. Ensuring Better Well Stimulation in Unconventional Oil and Gas Formations by Optimizing Surfactant Additives. Presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, California, 21–23 March. SPE-154242-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/154242-MS.
Xu, L., He, K., Rane, J. P. et al. 2015. Spontaneously Imbibed Fluids for Increasing Contact Area Between Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids and Formation Matrix in Liquids-Rich Shale Plays. Presented at the SPE Liquids-Rich Basins Conference–North America, Midland, Texas, 2–3 September. SPE-175536-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/175536-MS.
Young, T. 1855. Miscellaneous Works, Vol. 1. London: Murray Publications.
Zelenev, A. S., Champagne, L. M., and Hamilton, M. 2011. Investigation of Interactions of Diluted Microemulsions With Shale Rock and Sand by Adsorption and Wettability Measurements. Colloid. Surface. A 391 (1): 201–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2011.07.007.
Zhang, D. L., Shunhua, L., Puerto, M. et al. 2006. Wettability Alteration and Spontaneous Imbibition in Oil-Wet Carbonate Formations. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 52 (1–4): 213–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2006.03.009.
Zhang, J., Wang, D., and Olatunji, K. 2016. Surfactant Adsorption Investigation in Ultra-Lower Permeable Rocks. Presented at the SPE Low Perm Symposium, Denver, 5–6 May. SPE-180214-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180214-MS.
Zhang, P. and Austad, T. 2005. Waterflooding in Chalk—Relationship Between Oil Recovery, New Wettability Index, Brine Composition and Cationic Wettability Modifier. Presented at the SPE Europec/EAGE Annual Conference, Madrid, Spain, 13–16 June. SPE-94209-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/94209-MS.