A New Dynamic Wettability-Alteration Model for Oil-Wet Cores During Surfactant-Solution Imbibition
- M. Hosein Kalaei (University of Texas at Austin) | Don Green (University of Kansas) | G. Paul Willhite (University of Kansas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- May 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 818 - 828
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.1 Flow in porous media
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- 560 since 2007
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Wettability modification of solid rocks with surfactants is an importantprocess and has the potential to recover oil from reservoirs. When wettabilityis altered by use of surfactant solutions, capillary pressure, relativepermeabilities, and residual oil saturations change wherever the porous rock iscontacted by the surfactant. In this study, a mechanistic model is described inwhich wettability alteration is simulated by a new empirical correlation of thecontact angle with surfactant concentration developed from experimental data.This model was tested against results from experimental tests in which oil wasdisplaced from oil-wet cores by imbibition of surfactant solutions.Quantitative agreement between the simulation results of oil displacement andexperimental data from the literature was obtained. Simulation of theimbibition of surfactant solution in laboratory-scale cores with the new modeldemonstrated that wettability alteration is a dynamic process, which plays asignificant role in history matching and prediction of oil recovery fromoil-wet porous media. In these simulations, the gravity force was the primarycause of the surfactant-solution invasion of the core that changed the rockwettability toward a less oil-wet state.
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