Investigation and Optimization of the Effects of Geologic Parameters on the Performance of Gravity-Stable Surfactant Floods
- Shayan Tavassoli (The University of Texas at Austin) | Gary A. Pope (The University of Texas at Austin) | Kamy Sepehrnoori (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 761 - 775
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Gravity Stability, Surfactant Flood, Simulation, Aquifer, Geologic Parameters
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- 243 since 2007
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A systematic simulation study of gravity-stable surfactant flooding was performed to understand the conditions under which it is practical and to optimize its performance. Different optimization schemes were introduced to minimize the effects of geologic parameters and to improve the performance and the economics of surfactant floods. The simulations were carried out by use of horizontal wells in heterogeneous reservoirs. The results show that one can perform gravity-stable surfactant floods at a reasonable velocity and with very-high sweep efficiencies for reservoirs with high vertical permeability. These simulations were carried out with a 3D fine grid and a third-order finite-difference method to accurately model fingering. A sensitivity study was conducted to investigate the effects of heterogeneity and well spacing. The simulations were performed with realistic surfactant properties on the basis of laboratory experiments. The critical velocity for a stable surfactant flood is a function of the microemulsion (ME) viscosity, and it turns out there is an optimum value that one can use to significantly increase the velocity and still be stable. One can optimize the salinity gradient to gradually change the ME viscosity. Another alternative is to inject a low-concentration polymer drive following the surfactant slug (without polymer). Polymer complicates the process and adds to its cost without a significant benefit in most gravity-stable surfactant floods, but an exception is when the reservoir is highly layered. The effect of an aquifer on gravity-stable surfactant floods was also investigated, and strategies were developed for minimizing its effect on the process.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||15|
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