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Study Investigates Smart Waterflooding in Sandstone Reservoirs

In this paper, the authors consider the effect of water chemistry on water/rock interactions during seawater and smart waterflooding of reservoir sandstone cores containing heavy oil. Oil recovery, surface-reactivity tests, and multicomponent reactive-transport simulation were conducted to understand smart waterflooding better. The authors determine that lowering magnesium-ion (Mg2+) concentration results in lower additional oil recovery, and that lowering calcium-ion (Ca2+) concentration leads to higher additional oil recovery.

Introduction

“Smart water” (SW) can be defined as a water engineered by manipulating the ionic composition (adding or removing ions) regardless of the resulting salinity. An upward pH shift has been reported in the literature during low-salinity (LS) and/or smart waterflooding. That upward shift modifies the wettability of sandstone, thereby increasing oil recovery.

When high salinity is displaced by LS water, Ca2+ will be desorbed from the clay surface because ion exchange occurs between hydrogen (H+) and Ca2+ at the negative sites of the clay surface. The organic materials will be then desorbed from the clay because of the reaction between the protonated basic and the acidic materials with hydroxide. The authors’ investigations on free-clay sandstone provided a different insight into such reactions. The observations from chromatographic columns of quartz showed an increase in the acetate detachment from the quartz surface with a significant pH jump during LS waterflooding. The oil-­recovery observations from the quartz column supported the proposed mechanism.

Previous systematic laboratory works indicated that the abundance of Mg2+ in the formation water (FW) is more effective than Ca2+ for a higher LS enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) effect. Conversely, the abundance of Ca2+ in the injected LS water has a larger effect on LS EOR. When Mg2+ was present in the LS water, no oil-recovery improvement occurred.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 193238, “Investigation of Smart Waterflooding in Sandstone Reservoirs: Experimental and Simulation Study, Part 2,” by Hasan N. Al-Saedi, SPE, Missouri University of Science and Technology and Missan Oil Company; Ralph E. Flori, SPE, Missouri University of Science and Technology; and Alsaba Mortadha, Australian College of Kuwait, prepared for the 2018 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, 12–15 November, Abu Dhabi. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Study Investigates Smart Waterflooding in Sandstone Reservoirs

01 January 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 1

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