Experimental Investigation of Water Incompatibility and Rock/Fluid and Fluid/Fluid Interactions in the Absence and Presence of Scale Inhibitors
- Mehdi Mohammadi (University of Tehran) | Siavash Riahi (University of Tehran)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- May 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2020.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- scale inhibitor, wettability, waterflooding, mineral scale, IFT
- 13 in the last 30 days
- 28 since 2007
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Waterflooding is known as an affordable method to enhance oil recovery after primary depletion. However, the chemical incompatibility between injected water and the water in the reservoir may cause the formation of mineral scales. The most effective method for managing such a problem is to use a variety of scale inhibitors (SIs) along with a waterflooding plan. It is necessary to perform a comprehensive study on the incompatibility scaling issue for the candidate-brine/SI formulations, and also their effect on the reservoir-rock/fluid characteristics. In this study, both in the absence and presence of polymeric, phosphonate, and polyphosphonate SIs, the scaling tendency (ST) of different brines is evaluated through experimental and simulation works. Drop-shape analysis (DSA), environmental-scanning-electronic-microscopy (ESEM) observation, energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, and microemulsion phase behavior are also used to study the effect of different brine/SI formulations on the rock/fluid and fluid/fluid interactions, through wettability and interfacial-tension (IFT) evaluation. In summary, sulfate was identified as the most problematic ion in the formulation of injected water that causes the formation of solid scales upon mixing with the cation-rich formation water (FW). In the case of SIs, solid precipitation was shifted toward a lower value, with more pronounced effects at higher SI concentrations. At different ionic compositions, the inhibition efficiency (IE%) of all SIs ranged from 16 to 50% at [SI] = 20 ppm and 38 to 81% at [SI] = 50 ppm. In general, phosphonates worked better (i.e., higher IE value) than polymeric SI. Measuring contact angles along with ESEM/EDX data also illustrated the positive effect of SIs on the wettability alteration of the aged carbonate substrates. In the absence of SIs, the contact angles for different brines were in the range of 70° ≤ θ ≤ 104°, whereas these values fell between 35 and 80° for systems containing 50 ppm of SI. In addition, phase-behavior study and IFT measurement illustrated a salinity-dependence effect of SIs on the interfacial behavior of the oil/water system.
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