Fines migration is the major reason for productivity decline known as formation damage in oil reservoirs. Sandstone formations are sensitive to brine salinity alteration which disturbs equilibrium condition in porous media. Because of nonequilibrium condition fines migration occurs during various operations. Nanoparticles seem to be good candidates to strengthen the attractive forces between fines and pore wall due to very small size, high specific surface area and electrical surface charge.
In this experimental study, several tests were performed using Berea sandstone (8 wt% clays) cores (3 in. length and 1.5 in. diameter). MgO nanoparticles were stabilized in the water uniformly using surface active agent and ultrasonication. Total dimensionless energy of interaction between nano particles in the suspensions was calculated based on the DLVO theory. Various core flooding tests were conducted to determine the effect of MgO nanofluid injection as clay stabilizer at different brine salinities on the cores with the permeability from 600-100 md. The pressure drop across the core was measured.
The results indicated that the MgO nanofluid could fix fines effectively where brine salinity became lower than CSC. Besides, measured zeta potential and total energy of interaction calculation confirmed that repulsive force became dominant at the specific concentration of the complex nanofluid which ensures its stability for long time during core flooding tests. Thus, MgO nanofluid significantly prevented water shock problem. Also, no significant reduction in permeability was noticed in any of core flood tests.