Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Enhanced Oil Recovery Related Abstracts

6 Application of Water Soluble Polymers in Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery

Authors: M. Shahzad Kamal, Abdullah S. Sultan, Usamah A. Al-Mubaiyedh, Ibnelwaleed A. Hussein


Oil recovery from reservoirs using conventional oil recovery techniques like water flooding is less than 20%. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques are applied to recover additional oil. Surfactant-polymer flooding is a promising EOR technique used to recover residual oil from reservoirs. Water soluble polymers are used to increase the viscosity of displacing fluids. Surfactants increase the capillary number by reducing the interfacial tension between oil and displacing fluid. Hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is widely used in polymer flooding applications due to its low cost and other desirable properties. HPAM works well in low-temperature and low salinity-environment. In the presence of salts HPAM viscosity decrease due to charge screening effect and it can precipitate at high temperatures in the presence of salts. Various strategies have been adopted to extend the application of water soluble polymers to high-temperature high-salinity (HTHS) reservoir. These include addition of monomers to acrylamide chain that can protect it against thermal hydrolysis. In this work, rheological properties of various water soluble polymers were investigated to find out suitable polymer and surfactant-polymer systems for HTHS reservoirs. Polymer concentration ranged from 0.1 to 1 % (w/v). Effect of temperature, salinity and polymer concentration was investigated using both steady shear and dynamic measurements. Acrylamido tertiary butyl sulfonate based copolymer showed better performance under HTHS conditions compared to HPAM. Moreover, thermoviscosifying polymer showed excellent rheological properties and increase in the viscosity was observed with increase temperature. This property is highly desirable for EOR application.

Keywords: Rheology, Salinity, Enhanced Oil Recovery, polyacrylamide, polymer flooding

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5 Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Biosurfactants on Residual-Oil Recovery

Authors: G. G. Nasr, S. V. Ukwungwu, A. J. Abbas


The increasing high price of natural gas and oil with attendant increase in energy demand on world markets in recent years has stimulated interest in recovering residual oil saturation across the globe. In order to meet the energy security, efforts have been made in developing new technologies of enhancing the recovery of oil and gas, utilizing techniques like CO2 flooding, water injection, hydraulic fracturing, surfactant flooding etc. Surfactant flooding however optimizes production but poses risk to the environment due to their toxic nature. Amongst proven records that have utilized other type of bacterial in producing biosurfactants for enhancing oil recovery, this research uses a technique to combine biosurfactants that will achieve a scale of EOR through lowering interfacial tension/contact angle. In this study, three biosurfactants were produced from three Bacillus species from freeze dried cultures using sucrose 3 % (w/v) as their carbon source. Two of these produced biosurfactants were screened with the TEMCO Pendant Drop Image Analysis for reduction in IFT and contact angle. Interfacial tension was greatly reduced from 56.95 mN.m-1 to 1.41 mN.m-1 when biosurfactants in cell-free culture (Bacillus licheniformis) were used compared to 4. 83mN.m-1 cell-free culture of Bacillus subtilis. As a result, cell-free culture of (Bacillus licheniformis) changes the wettability of the biosurfactant treatment for contact angle measurement to more water-wet as the angle decreased from 130.75o to 65.17o. The influence of microbial treatment on crushed rock samples was also observed by qualitative wettability experiments. Treated samples with biosurfactants remained in the aqueous phase, indicating a water-wet system. These results could prove that biosurfactants can effectively change the chemistry of the wetting conditions against diverse surfaces, providing a desirable condition for efficient oil transport in this way serving as a mechanism for EOR. The environmental friendly effect of biosurfactants applications for industrial purposes play important advantages over chemically synthesized surfactants, with various possible structures, low toxicity, eco-friendly and biodegradability.

Keywords: Wettability, Enhanced Oil Recovery, bacillus, biosurfactant, residual oil

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4 Detailed Analysis of Mechanism of Crude Oil and Surfactant Emulsion

Authors: Riddhiman Sherlekar, Umang Paladia, Rachit Desai, Yash Patel


A number of surfactants which exhibit ultra-low interfacial tension and an excellent microemulsion phase behavior with crude oils of low to medium gravity are not sufficiently soluble at optimum salinity to produce stable aqueous solutions. Such solutions often show phase separation after a few days at reservoir temperature, which does not suffice the purpose and the time is short when compared to the residence time in a reservoir for a surfactant flood. The addition of polymer often exacerbates the problem although the poor stability of the surfactant at high salinity remains a pivotal issue. Surfactants such as SDS, Ctab with large hydrophobes produce lowest IFT, but are often not sufficiently water soluble at desired salinity. Hydrophilic co-solvents and/or co-surfactants are needed to make the surfactant-polymer solution stable at the desired salinity. This study focuses on contrasting the effect of addition of a co-solvent in stability of a surfactant –oil emulsion. The idea is to use a co-surfactant to increase stability of an emulsion. Stability of the emulsion is enhanced because of creation of micro-emulsion which is verified both visually and with the help of particle size analyzer at varying concentration of salinity, surfactant and co-surfactant. A lab-experimental method description is provided and the method is described in detail to permit readers to emulate all results. The stability of the oil-water emulsion is visualized with respect to time, temperature, salinity of the brine and concentration of the surfactant. Nonionic surfactant TX-100 when used as a co-surfactant increases the stability of the oil-water emulsion. The stability of the prepared emulsion is checked by observing the particle size distribution. For stable emulsion in volume% vs particle size curve, the peak should be obtained for particle size of 5-50 nm while for the unstable emulsion a bigger sized particles are observed. The UV-Visible spectroscopy is also used to visualize the fraction of oil that plays important role in the formation of micelles in stable emulsion. This is important as the study will help us to decide applicability of the surfactant based EOR method for a reservoir that contains a specific type of crude. The use of nonionic surfactant as a co-surfactant would also increase the efficiency of surfactant EOR. With the decline in oil discoveries during the last decades it is believed that EOR technologies will play a key role to meet the energy demand in years to come. Taking this into consideration, the work focuses on the optimization of the secondary recovery(Water flooding) with the help of surfactant and/or co-surfactants by creating desired conditions in the reservoir.

Keywords: Enhanced Oil Recovery, co-surfactant, micro-emulsion, surfactant flooding

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3 Interdisciplinary Approach for Economic Production of Oil and Gas Reserves: Application of Geothermal Energy for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Authors: Dharmit Viroja, Prerakkumar Shah, Rajanikant Gajera, Ruchit Shah


With present scenario of aging oil and gas fields with high water cuts, volatile oil prices and increasing greenhouse gas emission, the need for alleviating such issues has necessitated for oil and gas industry to make the maximum out of available assets, infrastructure and reserves in mother Earth. Study undertaken emphasizes on utilizing Geothermal Energy under specific reservoir conditions for Enhanced oil Recovery (EOR) to boost up production. Allied benefits of this process include mitigation of electricity problem in remote fields and controlled CO-emission. Utilization of this energy for EOR and increasing economic life of field could surely be rewarding. A new way to value oil lands would be considered if geothermal co-production is integrated in the field development program. Temperature profile of co-produced fluid across its journey is a pivotal issue which has been studied. Geo pressured reservoirs resulting from trapped brine under an impermeable bed is also a frontier for exploitation. Hot geothermal fluid is a by-product of large number of oil and gas wells, historically this hot water has been seen as an inconvenience; however, it can be looked at as a useful resource. The production of hot fluids from abandoned and co-production of hot fluids from producing wells has potential to prolong life of oil and gas fields. The study encompasses various factors which are required for use of this technology and application of this process across various phases of oil and gas value chain. Interdisciplinary approach in oil and gas value chain has shown potential for economic production of estimated oil and gas reserves.

Keywords: geothermal energy, Enhanced Oil Recovery, geo-pressured reservoirs, oil and gas value chain

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2 Oil Recovery Study by Low Temperature Carbon Dioxide Injection in High-Pressure High-Temperature Micromodels

Authors: Zakaria Hamdi, Mariyamni Awang


For the past decades, CO2 flooding has been used as a successful method for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). However, high mobility ratio and fingering effect are considered as important drawbacka of this process. Low temperature injection of CO2 into high temperature reservoirs may improve the oil recovery, but simulating multiphase flow in the non-isothermal medium is difficult, and commercial simulators are very unstable in these conditions. Furthermore, to best of authors’ knowledge, no experimental work was done to verify the results of the simulations and to understand the pore-scale process. In this paper, we present results of investigations on injection of low temperature CO2 into a high-pressure high-temperature micromodel with injection temperature range from 34 to 75 °F. Effect of temperature and saturation changes of different fluids are measured in each case. The results prove the proposed method. The injection of CO2 at low temperatures increased the oil recovery in high temperature reservoirs significantly. Also, CO2 rich phases available in the high temperature system can affect the oil recovery through the better sweep of the oil which is initially caused by penetration of LCO2 inside the system. Furthermore, no unfavorable effect was detected using this method. Low temperature CO2 is proposed to be used as early as secondary recovery.

Keywords: Enhanced Oil Recovery, CO2 flooding, micromodel studies, miscible flooding

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1 An Experimental Investigation of Microscopic and Macroscopic Displacement Behaviors of Branched-Preformed Particle Gel in High Temperature Reservoirs

Authors: Weiyao Zhu, Bingbing Li, Yajing Liu, Zhiyong Song


Branched-preformed particle gel (B-PPG) is a newly developed profile control and oil displacement agent for enhanced oil recovery in major oilfields. To provide a better understanding of the performance of B-PPG in high temperature reservoirs, a comprehensive experimental investigation was conducted by utilizing glass micromodel and synthetic core. The microscopic experimental results show that the B-PPG can selectively flow and plug in large pores. In terms of enhanced oil recovery, the decrease of residual oil in the margin regions (24.6%) was higher than that in the main stream (13.7%), which indicates it enlarged the sweep area. In addition, the effects of B-PPG injection concentration and injection rate on enhanced oil recovery were implemented by core flooding. The macroscopic experimental results indicate that the enhanced oil recovery increased with the increasing of injection concentration. However, the injection rate had a peak value. It is significant to get insight into the behaviors of B-PPG in reservoirs.

Keywords: Enhanced Oil Recovery, branched-preformed particle gel, micromodel, core flooding

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