Oil Configuration Under High-Salinity and Low-Salinity Conditions at Pore Scale: A Parametric Investigation by Use of a Single-Channel Micromodel
- Willem-Bart Bartels (Utrecht University) | Hassan Mahani (Shell Global Solutions International B.V.) | Steffen Berg (Shell Global Solutions International B.V.) | Robin Menezes (Delft University of Technology) | Jesse A. van der Hoeven (Utrecht University) | Ali Fadili (Shell Global Solutions International B.V.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- October 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,362 - 1,373
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Enhanced Oil Recovery, Micro-model, Pore scale physics, Low Salinity Waterflooding, Wettability alteration
- 14 in the last 30 days
- 536 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Low-salinity waterflooding (LSF) is receiving increased interest as a promising method to improve oil-recovery efficiency. Most of the literature agrees that, on the Darcy scale, LSF can be regarded as a wettability-modification process, leading to a more-water-wet state, although no consensus on the microscopic mechanisms has been reached. To establish a link between the pore-scale and the Darcy-scale description, the flow dynamic at an intermediate scale--i.e., networks of multiple pores--should be investigated. One of the main challenges in addressing phenomena on this scale is to design a model system representative of natural rock. The model system should allow for a systematic investigation of influencing parameters with pore-scale resolution while simultaneously being large enough to capture larger-length-scale effects such as saturation changes and the mobilization and connection of oil ganglia.
In this paper, we use micromodels functionalized with active clay minerals as a model system to study the low-salinity effect (LSE) on the pore scale. A new method was devised to deposit clays in the micromodel. Clay suspensions were made by mixing natural clays (montmorillonite) with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and were injected into optically transparent 2D glass micromodels. After drying the models, the clay particles were deposited and stick naturally to the glass surfaces. The micromodel was then used to investigate the dependence of the LSE on the type of oil (crude oil vs. n-decane), the presence of clay particles, and aging.
Our results show that the system is responsive to low-salinity brine as the effective contact angle of crude oil shifts toward a more-water-wetting state when brine salinity is reduced. When using n-decane as a reference case of inert oil, no change in contact angle occurred after a reduction in brine salinity.
This responsiveness in terms of contact angle does not necessarily mean that more oil is recovered. Only in the cases where the contact-angle change (because of low-salinity exposure) led to release of oil and reconnection with oil of adjacent pore bodies did the oil become mobile and the oil saturation effectively reduce. This makes contact-angle changes a necessary but not sufficient requirement for incremental recovery by LSF. Interestingly, the wettability modification was observed in the absence of clay. Osmosis and interfacial tension (IFT) change were found not to be the primary driving mechanisms of the low-salinity response.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||12|
Abdallah, W., Buckley, J. S., Carnegie, A. et al. 2007. Fundamentals of Wettability. Oilfield Rev. 19 (2): 44–61.
Agbalaka, C. C., Dandekar, A. Y., Patil, S. L. et al. 2009. Coreflooding Studies to Evaluate the Impact of Salinity and Wettability on Oil Recovery Efficiency. Transport Porous Med. 76 (1): 77–94. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-008-9235-7.
Aksulu, H., Håmsø, D, Strand, S. et al. 2012. Evaluation of Low-Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery Effects in Sandstone: Effects of the Temperature and pH Gradient. Energ. Fuel. 26 (6): 3497–3503. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef300162n.
Aladasani, A., Bai, B., and Wu, Y. 2012. Investigating Low-Salinity Waterflooding Recovery Mechanisms in Sandstone Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 14–18 April. SPE-152997-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/152997-MS.
Aladasani, A. B., Bai, Y., Wu, S. et al. 2014. Studying Low-Salinity Waterflooding Recovery Effects in Sandstone Reservoirs. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 120 (August): 39–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2014.03.008.
Bondino, I., Doorwar, S., Ellouz, R. et al. 2013. Visual Microscopic Investigations about the Role of pH, Salinity and Clay on Oil Adhesion and Recovery. Oral presentation of paper SCA2013-021 given at the International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts, Napa Valley, California, 16–19 September.
Buckley, J. S., Bousseau, C., and Liu, Y. 1996, Wetting Alteration by Brine and Crude Oil: From Contact Angles to Cores. SPE J. 1 (3): 341–350. SPE-30765-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/30765-PA.
Buckley, J. S., Liu, Y., Cie, X. et al. 1997. Asphaltenes and Crude Oil Wetting–The Effect of Oil Composition. SPE J. 2 (2): 107–119. SPE-35366-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/35366-PA.
Drummond, C. and Israelachvili, J. 2002. Surface Forces and Wettability. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 33 (1–3): 123–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(01)00180-2.
Fredriksen, S. B., Rognmo, A. U., and Fernø, M. A. 2016. Pore-Scale Mechanisms during Low Salinity Waterflooding: Water Diffusion and Osmosis for Oil Mobilization. Presented at the SPE Bergen One Day Seminar, Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway, 20 April. SPE-180060-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180060-MS.
Graue, A., Viksund, B. G., Eilertsen, T. et al. 1999. Systematic Wettability Alteration by Aging Sandstone and Carbonate Rock in Crude Oil. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 24 (2–4): 85–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(99)00033-9.
Hassenkam, T., Pedersen, C. S., Dalby, K. et al. 2011. Pore Scale Observation of Low Salinity Effects on Outcrop and Oil Reservoir Sandstone. Colloid. Surface. A 390 (1–3): 179–188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2011.09.025.
Jackson, M. D., Vinogradov, J., Hamon, G. et al. 2016. Evidence, Mechanisms and Improved Understanding of Controlled Salinity Waterflooding Part 1: Sandstones. Fuel 185 (1 December): 772–793. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.07.075.
Jacobs, K., Herminghaus, S., and Mecke, K. R. 1998. Thin Liquid Polymer Films Rupture via Defects. Langmuir 14 (4): 965–969. https://doi.org/10.1021/la970954b.
Jadhunandan, P. P. and Morrow, N. R. 1995. Effect of Wettability on Waterflood Recovery for Crude-Oil/Brine/Rock Systems. SPE Res Eng 10 (1): 40–46. https://doi.org/10.2118/22597-PA.
Joekar-Niasar, V. and Mahani, H. 2016. Nonmonotonic Pressure Field Induced by Ionic Diffusion in thin Films. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 55 (21): 6227–6235. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.6b00842.
Lager, A., Webb, K. J., Black, C. J. J. et al. 2008. Low Salinity Oil Recovery–An Experimental Investigation. Petrophysics 49 (1): 28–35. SPWLA-2008-v49n1a2.
Lake, L. W. 1989. Enhanced Oil Recovery. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Lebedeva, E. V. and Fogden, A. 2011. Wettability Alteration of Kaolinite Exposed to Crude Oil in Salt Solutions. Colloid. Surface. A 377 (1–3): 115–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2010.12.051.
Leica Microsystems. 2017. Leica Application Suite, http://www.leicamicrosystems.com/products/microscope-software/software-for-materialssciences/.
Ligthelm, D. J., Gronsveld, J., Hofman, J. P. et al. 2009. Novel Waterflooding Strategy by Manipulation of Injection Brine Composition. Presented at the EUROPEC/EAGE Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, 8–11 June. SPE-119835-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/119835-MS.
Mahani, H., Berg, S., Ilic, D. et al. 2015. Kinetics of Low-Salinity-Flooding Effect. SPE J. 20 (1): 8–20. SPE-165255-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/165255-PA.
Morrow, N. R. and Buckley, J. 2011. Improved Oil Recovery by Low-Salinity Waterflooding. J Pet Technol 63 (5): 106–112. SPE-129421-JPT. https://doi.org/10.2118/129421-JPT.
Mugele, F., Bera, B., Cavalli, A. et al. 2015. Ion Adsorption-Induced Wetting Transition in Oil-Water-Mineral Systems. Sci. Reports 5: 10519. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep10519.
Myint, P. C. and Firoozabadi, A. 2015. Thin Liquid Films in Improved Oil Recovery from Low-Salinity Brine. Curr. Opin. Colloid. In. 20 (2): 105–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cocis.2015.03.002.
Nasralla, R. A., Bataweel, M. A., and Nasr-El-Din, H. A. 2013. Investigation of Wettability Alteration and Oil-recovery Improvement by Lowsalinity Water in Sandstone Rock. J Can Pet Technol 52 (2): 144–154. SPE-146322-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/146322-PA.
Sandengen, K., Kristoffersen, A., Melhuus, K. et al. 2016. Osmosis as Mechanism for Low-Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery. SPE J. 21 (4): 1227–1235. SPE-179741-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/179741-PA.
Schwartz, W., Roy, R., Eley, R. et al. 2001. Dewetting Patterns in a Drying Liquid Film. J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 234 (2): 363–374. https://doi.org/10.1006/jcis.2000.7312.
Sharma, A. and Verma, R. 2004. Pattern Formation and Dewetting in Thin Films of Liquids Showing Complete Macroscale Wetting: From “Pancakes” to “Swiss Cheese.” Langmuir 20 (23): 10337–10345. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la048669x.
Sohrabi, M., Mahzari, P., Farzaneh, S. A. et al. 2015. Novel Insight into Mechanisms of Oil Recovery by Low Salinity Water Injection. Presented at the SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference, Manama, Bahrain, 8–11 March. SPE-172778-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/172778-MS.
Song, W. and Kovscek, A. R. 2015. Functionalization of Micromodels with Kaolinite for Investigation of Low Salinity Oil-Recovery Processes. Lab on a Chip 15: 3314–3325. https://doi.org/10.1039/C5LC00544B.
Sorop, T. G., Masalmeh, S. K., Suijkerbuijk, B. M. J. M. et al. 2015. Relative Permeability Measurements to Quantify the Low Salinity Flooding Effect at Field Scale. Presented at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 9–12 November. SPE-177856-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/177856-MS.
Suijkerbuijk, B. M. J. M., Kuipers, H. P. C. E., van Kruijsdijk, C. P. J. W. et al. 2013. The Development of a Workflow to Improve Predictive Capability of Low Salinity Response. Presented at the International Petroleum Technology Conference, Beijing, 26–28 March. IPTC-17157-MS. https://doi.org/10.2523/IPTC-17157-MS.
Suijkerbuijk, B. M. J. M., Sorop, T. G., Parker, A. R. et al. 2014. Low Salinity Waterflooding at West Salym: Laboratory Experiments and Field Forecasts. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 12–16 April. SPE-169102-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/169102-MS.
Tang, G. Q. and Morrow, N. R. 1997. Salinity, Temperature, Oil Composition, and Oil Recovery by Waterflooding. SPE Res Eng 12 (4): 269–276. SPE-36680-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/36680-PA.
Vledder, P., Fonseca, J. C., Wells, T. et al. 2010. Low Salinity Water Flooding: Proof of Wettability Alteration On A Field Wide Scale. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 24–28 April. SPE-129564-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/129564-MS.