Phase Behavior, Wettability Alteration, and Oil Recovery of Low-Salinity Surfactant Solutions in Carbonate Reservoirs
- Sepideh Veiskarami (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran) | Arezou Jafari (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran) | Aboozar Soleymanzadeh (Petroleum University of Technology, Ahwaz)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- May 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2020.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- design of experiment, micromodel flood, low salinity flooding, wettability alteration, phase behavior
- 13 in the last 30 days
- 66 since 2007
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Recent investigations have shown that treatment with injected brine composition can improve oil production. Various mechanisms have been suggested to go through the phenomenon; nevertheless, wettability alteration is one of the most commonly proposed mechanisms in the literature. Wettability alteration of the porous media toward a more favorable state reduces the capillary pressure, consequently contributing to the oil detachment from pore walls.
In this study, phase behavior, oil recovery, and wettability alteration toward a more favorable state were investigated using a combination of formulations of surfactant and modified low-salinity (LS) brine. Phase behaviors of these various formulations were examined experimentally through observations on relative phase volumes. Experiments were performed in various water/oil ratios (WORs) in the presence of two different oil samples, namely C1 and C2. These experiments were conducted to clarify the impact of each affecting parameter; in particular, the impact of resin and asphaltene of crude oil on the performance of LS surfactant (LSS) flooding. Hereafter, the optimal formulation was flooded into the oil-wet micromodel. Optimum formulations increased the capillary number more than four orders of magnitude higher than that under formation brine (FB) flooding, thus causing oil recovery rates of 61 and 67% for oil samples C1 and C2, respectively. Likewise, the wettability alteration potential of optimized formulations was studied through contact angle measurements. Results showed that LS and LSS solutions could act as possible wettability alternating methods for oil-wet carbonate rocks. Using the optimum formulation resulted in a wettability alteration index (WAI) of 0.66 for sample C1 and 0.49 for sample C2, while using LS brine itself ended in 0.51 and 0.29 for oil samples C1 and C2, respectively.
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