Laboratory Investigations To Determine the Effect of Connate-Water Composition on Low-Salinity Waterflooding in Sandstone Reservoirs
- Ahmed M. Shehata (Texas A&M University) | Hisham A. Nasr-El-Din (Texas A&M University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 59 - 76
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- low salinity, water flooding, connate water, oil recovery, sandstone
- 20 in the last 30 days
- 481 since 2007
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Most previous low-salinity-waterflooding studies focused on injection-brine salinity and composition. The question remains: How do the salinity and composition of the reservoir connate water (CW) affect the low-salinity-waterflooding performance? The main objectives of this work are to evaluate the potential of low salinity waterflooding (LSW) on the performance of oil recovery improvement by use of Buff Berea sandstone and Bandera sandstone cores; examine the effect of the salinity of the reservoir CW; investigate the role of the cation composition (Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+) of the reservoir CW; and study the effect of temperature and pore-throat distribution on the performance of LSW.
In this research, 11 spontaneous-imbibition (SI) experiments and six coreflood experiments were performed. Two sandstone types (Bandera and Buff Berea) with different mineralogy compositions were used. Furthermore, ζ-potential measurements were conducted for oil/brine interfaces to investigate the interaction between brine and crude oil interfaces. In addition, coreflood experiments were performed to validate the SI results and examine the effect of the CW-salinity variation.
The reservoir-CW composition had a dominant influence on the oil-recovery rate. The changes in the cation composition of reservoir CW (Ca2+, Mg2+, and Na+) showed a measurable change in the oil-production trend. Reservoir cores saturated with CW containing divalent cations of Ca+2 and Mg+2 showed higher oil recovery than cores saturated with monovalent cations (Na+). The results demonstrate that the SI produced oil ranging from 38 to 69% of original oil in place (OOIP) for high-permeability Buff Berea cores (164–207.7 md), whereas the produced oil of the low permeability Bandera cores (31.1–39.2 md) ranged from 20 to 51.5% of OOIP at 77°F and 14.7 psia. In all cases, a measurable ion exchange was observed, whereas there was no significant change in the pH value of the imbibition brine during the experiments. The ion-exchange effect was more pronounced than the pH effect in the low-salinity-waterflooding performance for Buff Berea and Bandera sandstone. The total oil recovery increased from 51.9 to 58.9% OOIP when the divalent-cation (Ca+2 and Mg+2) concentration of the reservoir CW increased from 709 to 12,210 ppm for injected-brine salinity of 500 and 5,000 ppm, respectively. On the other hand, increasing the monovalent-cation (Na+) concentration from 610 to 54,400 ppm resulted in a slight increase in oil recovery (2.3% of OOIP).
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