State-of-the Art Low Salinity Waterflooding for Enhanced Oil Recovery
- Cuong T. Q. Dang (University of Calgary) | Long X. Nghiem (Computer Modelling Group Ltd.) | Zhangxin Chen (University of Calgary) | Quoc P. Nguyen (University of Texas At Austin) | Ngoc T.B. Nguyen (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, 22-24 October, Jakarta, Indonesia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2013, Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.4.9 Miscible Methods, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 1.4.3 Fines Migration, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation
- Low Salinity Waterflooding, Ionic Exchange, Wettability Alteration
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Low salinity waterflooding (LSW) is an emerging enhanced oil recovery technique in which the salinity of the injected water is controlled to improve oil recovery vs. conventional, higher salinity waterflooding. Despite significant growing interest in LSW, a consistent mechanistic study has not yet emerged, and the mechanisms behind the LSW process have been debated for the last decade due to the complexity of the crude oil-brine-rock interactions. The intent of this paper is to:
- Provide a concise review of the current understanding of LSW mechanism and prediction methods;
- Address the current development and challenges of LSW modeling and numerical simulation;
- Summarize and highlight the success and failur of LSW implementation in pilot tests;
- Discuss the potential of a Hybrid LSW in the current and future projects.
Waterflooding is currently accepted worldwide as a simple, reliable, and economic technique; most of conventional oil reservoirs have been, are being, or will be considered for waterflooding during secondary recovery. Unquestionably, waterflooding will continue to be applied to unlock huge hydrocarbon reserves left behind by primary recovery.
In most waterflooding projects, especially in offshore oil fields, the injected brine is normally chosen to be compatible with the existing reservoir brine so that damage to the formation does not occur. However, several authors have reported that injecting low salinity brine can increase oil recovery, compared to conventional high salinity waterflooding in sandstone reservoirs.
The original ideas of LSW came from Morrow and his research colleagues at the University of Wyoming in the early 1990's during their experiments to determine the interactions and effects of brine, crude oil, and mineralogy on wettability (Morrow, etal., 1998). Subsequently, numerous evaluations in laboratories and in the fields have proven the possibility of higher oil recovery factor by LSW. Although people widely agree with this point, the underlying mechanisms of additional oil recovery are still being debated. Several hypotheses have been proposed during last two decades including fines migration, wettability alteration, multi-component ionic exchange (MIE), pH modification, desorption, and double layer effects. Up to now, the mechanism responsible for increased oil recovery is poorly understood with many contradictory published results.
|File Size||513 KB||Number of Pages||12|