Oxygenated Solvent as a Novel Additive for Improved Oil Recovery in Tight Oil Reservoirs
- Mingyuan Wang (The University of Texas at Austin) | Kwang Hoon Baek (The University of Texas at Austin) | Gayan A. Abeykoon (The University of Texas at Austin) | Francisco J. Argüelles-Vivas (The University of Texas at Austin) | Ryosuke Okuno (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 30 September - 2 October, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Wolfcamp shale, Tight oil, Water imbibition, Oxygenated solvent, Huff-n-puff
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- 263 since 2007
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Tight oil reservoirs typically show rapid reduction in production rate within a few years. Various methods of improved oil recovery from tight reservoirs have been studied, such as cyclic injection of gas and chemical solutions. Chemical solution injection is expected to improve oil recovery through wettability alteration and water/oil interfacial tension (IFT) reduction because most tight oil reservoirs are reportedly intermediate- to oil-wet.
This paper presents a comparative study of two wettability modifiers with different characters for enhancing water imbibition from a fracture into the surrounding matrix. One is 3-pentanone, a symmetric short ketone, and the other is 2-ethylhexanol-4PO-15EO, a non-ionic surfactant with an ultra-short hydrophobe. They were used as low-concentration additives (approximately 1 wt%) to reservoir brine (RB) in this research.
Contact-angle experiments with oil-aged calcite surfaces showed that the two chemicals are comparable as wettability modifiers. For example, the surfactant solution was able to change the contact angle of oil droplets on oil-aged calcite surfaces from 134° to 47° within a day.
Coreflooding experiments using fractured limestone cores showed that the 3-pentanone solution resulted in more rapid oil recovery by water imbibition than the surfactant solution. The incremental oil recovery factor was 30.9% for 1.6 pore-volumes injected (PVI) of the 3-pentanone solution and 8.4% for 1.2 PVI of the chase RB. For the surfactant case, it was 23.6% for 1.6 PVI of the surfactant solution and 23.7% for 7.0 PVI of the chase RB.
The difference in oil recovery response between the two chemical solutions was attributed to their different characters as wettability modifiers; that is, the surfactant solution lowers the water/oil IFT from 11 mN/m to 0.21 mN/m, but the 3-pentanone solution does not. The 3-pentanone solution can keep the original water/oil IFT, and increase the capillary force for water imbibition by wettability alteration. The importance of lowering the water/oil IFT was observed during the extended chase RB injection after the surfactant slug. The oil recovery in the surfactant case was increasing even after 7.0 PVI of the chase RB.
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