Nano Surfactant System Improves Post Frac Oil and Gas Recovery in Hydrocarbon Rich Gas Reservoirs
- Glenn S. Penny (CESI Chemical) | Andrei Zelenev (CESI Chemical) | Nathan Lett (CESI Chemical) | Javad Paktinat (Trican Well Service Ltd.) | Bill James O'Neil (Trican Well Service Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, 14-18 April, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.8.5 Phase Trapping, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.8.1 Tight Gas, 4.6 Natural Gas
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The primary purpose of using surfactants in stimulating hydrocarbon rich gas reservoirs is to reduce interfacial tension, and/or modify contact angle and reservoir wettability. However, many surfactants either adsorb rapidly within the first few inches of the formation, or negatively impact reservoir wettability, thus reducing their effectiveness in lowering capillary pressure. These phenomena can result in phase trapping of the injected fluid adversely impacting oil and gas production.
This study describes experimental and field studies comparing various common surfactants used in oil bearing formations including alcohol ethoxylates, EO-PO block copolymers, ethoxylated amines and a multi-phase complex nano fluid system to determine their impact on oil recovery and adsorption tendencies when injected through 5- foot and 1 ft sand columns. Ammot cell tests were used to evaluate imbibition of oil and water and a core flow apparatus was used to evaluate regained relative permeabilities. The results are correlated with surface energies of actual formation materials, oils and treating fluids. The results are used to select formulations containing surfactant, solvents and co-solvents to apply within the fracturing fluid to decrease adsorption, eliminate post treatment emulsions and improve oil and gas recovery in hydrocarbon rich gas wells.
Surfactants should in theory be critically important in either moderate permeability reservoirs for oil or low permeability reservoirs for gas (tight gas or shale). It has been argued that the surfactant reduces the capillary pressure of the fluid in the near fracture region thus improving flowback of the fracturing fluid. The performance of surfactants following hydraulic fracturing is typically evaluated in core flow tests or in sand packed column tests to look at the impact of the additive on the reservoir rock and the proppant pack. Oil reservoirs exhibit complex wettabilities that must be understood for each reservoir. Clays line the pores of most reservoir rock, and in the case of shale, an added complication is the hydrophobic kerogen partially lining the pore surface. Further, the presence of liquid hydrocarbons may adsorb and alter the wettability of the reservoir. These factors make it difficult to determine the wettability of the reservoir.
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