Investigating the Use of Nanoparticles in Enhancing Oil Recovery
- Mike O. Onyekonwu (University of Port Harcourt) | Naomi A. Ogolo (University of Port Harcourt)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, 31 July - 7 August, Tinapa - Calabar, Nigeria
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.2.3 Rock properties, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing
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This paper is aimed at studying the ability of three different polysilicon nanoparticles (PSNP) to enhance oil recovery. Changing rock wettability is the target because wettability is a primary factor that affects recovery efficiency. The experiments conducted centered on laboratory coreflooding using two kinds of oil, brine and polysilicon nanofluids on water wet rocks obtained from the Niger Delta. The three kinds of PSNP used for this study were lipophobic and hydrophilic PSNP (LHPN), hydrophobic and lipophilic PSNP (HLPN) and neutrally wet PSNP (NWPN).
The results obtained indicate that NWPN and HLPN are good enhanced oil recovery (EOR) agents in water wet formations. Two mechanisms through which oil recovery is enhanced using NWPN and HLPN are change of rock wettability and reduction of interfacial tension by the improved quality of ethanol, the dispersing agent. Thus NWPN and HLPN dispersed in ethanol are recommended for use in EOR for water wet formations. LHPN which make already water wet rocks strongly water wet yield poor recovery factors indicating that its use for EOR should be restricted to oil wet formations.
Wettability is major factor that influences ultimate oil recovery. Generally water wet rocks have better recovery efficiency than oil wet rocks but several studies have shown that intermediately wet formations yield more oil than water wet rocks. It is therefore essentials to deliberately alter the wettability of a formation to an ideal wetting state that can aid maximum expulsion of oil from reservoirs.
One important characteristic of polysilicon nanoparticles (PSNP) is its ability to change the wettability of a rock surface. The different types of PSNP alter rock wettability differently. LHPN can turn an oil wet rock water wet or make an already water wet rock strongly water wet. HLPN can render a water wet rock oil wet or make an already oil wet rock strongly oil wet while NWPN can change either an oil or water wet formation to an intermediate state. NWPN achieves intermediate wetness either by making the rock both strongly water wet and strongly oil wet because it possesses both hydrophilic and hydophobic nanoparticles or by making the rock neither oil wet nor water wet. The presence of these nanoagents in reservoir formations can change the wettability of these rocks to an ideal state that can improve recovery.
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