Effect of Nanoparticles on Flow Alteration During CO2 Injection
- Behdad Aminzadeh-Goharrizi (University of Texas At Austin) | David A. DiCarlo (University of Texas At Austin) | D. H. Chung (University of Texas At Austin) | A. Kianinejad (University of Texas At Austin) | Steven Lawrence Bryant (University of Texas At Austin) | Chun Huh (University of Texas At Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 8-10 October, San Antonio, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.5.7 Climate Change, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing
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Surface-treated nanoparticles have been shown to stabilize CO2-in-water foam by adhering to the surface of CO2 bubbles and preventing their coalescence. However, to bring the nanoparticles from the bulk phase to CO2/water interface requires an input of mechanical energy. Co-injection of CO2 and an aqueous dispersion of nanoparticles at high rates is known to provide sufficient energy. However, this co-injection is less favorable because of the operational constraint, i.e., injectivity reduction. Here, we show that beneficial effect of nanoparticles, manifested as improved sweep efficiency, occurs even at low shear rates in a drainage displacement.
We inject high-pressure liquid CO2 into sandstone cores initially saturated with brine containing suspended nanoparticles and compare the results with the case with no nanoparticle addition. The water saturation distribution was measured using CT scanning techniques. The results show that the nanoparticles increase sweep efficiency and reduce the gravity override compared to displacements without nanoparticles. The new mechanism described here provides a promising alternative for mobility control in CO2 floods.
Carbon dioxide injection to recover oil from mature oil reservoirs ("CO2 flooding??) has been used for over 40 years (Grigg & Schechter, 1997; Jarrell, et al., 2002). CO2 flooding is now more economically and environmentally viable, because of the high crude oil price and possible large anthropogenic CO2 sources through carbon capture (Enick & Olsen, 2011). Despite its good local displacement efficiency, CO2 flooding suffers from poor sweep efficiency due to CO2's very low viscosity. Therefore, efficiency of a CO2 flood can be improved if the mobility of the CO2 is effectively reduced (Lake, 1989). Previous attempts for controlling CO2 mobility by using CO2 direct thickener (Bae & Irani, 1990) or gels (Wagner & Weisrock, 1986), and making foam with surfactants (Rossen, 1996), have made progress, but still have issues to be worked out. For instance, despite over 40 years of research, no CO2 direct thickener, which could be economically injected, has been found. In addition, surfactant stabilized foam, by its nature, is unstable, and the efficiency of the surfactant under harsh reservoir conditions (high temperature and high salinity) is questionable (Rossen, 1996). Therefore, other more robust methods that can control the mobility of CO2 effectively and affordably are required. Here, we studied possible use of engineered nanoparticles in controlling the mobility of CO2 by spontaneous formation of stable CO2/water foam.
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