Wettability Alteration of Heavy-Oil-Bitumen-Containing Carbonates by Use of Solvents, High-pH Solutions, and Nano/Ionic Liquids
- Nahai Cao (University of Alberta) | M. Almojtaba Mohammed (University of Alberta) | Tayfun Babadagli (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- May 2017
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 363 - 371
- 2017.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- solvents, Heavy-oil/bitumen, wettability alteration, ionic/nano liquids, high pH solutions
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 404 since 2007
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Capillary imbibition tests are commonly applied to measure wettability-alteration potential of chemicals. However, these tests are exhaustive, time-consuming, and expensive, and the underlying physics of the alteration process from a surface-chemistry point of view is often limited and/or unexplained. Contact-angle measurement is a quicker and more-feasible screening tool to assess the emerging wettability modifiers. It also provides visual data on the mechanics of the wettability-alteration process. This paper focuses on contact-angle measurements as a means to evaluate the wettability alteration on mineral plates and porous-rock samples. Imidazolium ionic liquids were tested at different concentrations. To study the effect of pH on the wettability, sodium chloride and sodium borate were used at different concentrations. The composition of divalent ions was varied because of their possible use with low-high-salinity water as wettability-alteration agents. Unmodified and surface-modified silica, zirconium, and alumina nanoparticles were also tested.
Contact-angle measurements were performed initially on mica, marble, and calcite plates. Experiments were repeated on polished surfaces of Berea sandstone, Indiana limestone, and cleaned Grosmont carbonate cores. Oils (pure and solvent-mixed crude oils) with different viscosities and densities were used to test the effect of oil type on the process. The images were obtained by an single-lens reflex (SLR) camera at different temperatures ranging from 25 to 80°C. By testing with different concentrations, the optimum chemicals were found for different mineral-plate/porous-rock systems. Then, the results were cross checked with the imbibition tests performed on the same samples to validate the contact-angle-measurement observations.
Thermal-stability tests were also performed in case of their use during or after a thermal method. For the thermal-stability tests, contact-angle experiments were conducted in a high-pressure andhigh-temperature (up to 200°C) cell. It was shown that certain ionic liquids and nanofluids are stable at high temperatures and can be efficiently used at low concentrations.
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