Microemulsion Effects on Oil Recovery From Kerogen Using Molecular-Dynamics Simulation
- Khoa Bui (Texas A&M University) | I. Yucel Akkutlu (Texas A&M University) | Andrei S. Zelenev (Flotek Industries) | William A. Hill (Flotek Industries) | Christian Griman (Flotek Industries) | Trudy C. Boudreaux (Flotek Industries) | James A. Silas (Flotek Industries)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2,541 - 2,554
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- kerogen, molecular dynamics simulations, recovery, microemulsion
- 6 in the last 30 days
- 142 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 5.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Source rocks contain significant volumes of hydrocarbon fluids trapped in kerogen, but effective recovery is challenged because of amplified fluid/wall interactions and the nanopore-confinement effect on the hydrocarbon-fluid composition. Enhanced oil production can be achieved by modifying the existing molecular forces in a kerogen pore network using custom-designed targeted-chemistry technologies. The objective of this paper is to show that the maturation of kerogen during catagenesis relates to the qualities of the kerogen pore network, such as pore size, shape, and connectivity, and plays an important role in the recovery of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, using molecular-dynamics (MD) simulations, we investigated how the transport of hydrocarbons in kerogen and hydrocarbon recovery can be altered with the delivery of microemulsion and surfactant micelles into the pore network.
New 3D kerogen models are presented using atomistic modeling and molecular simulations. These models possess important chemical and physical characteristics of the organic matter of the source rock. A replica of Type II kerogen representative of the source rocks in the Permian Basin in the US is used for the subsequent recovery simulations. Oil-saturated kerogen is modeled as consisting of nine different types of molecules: dimethyl naphthalene, toluene, tetradecane, decane, octane, butane, propane, ethane, and methane. The delivered microemulsion is an aqueous dispersion of solvent-swollen surfactant micelles. The solvent and nonionic surfactant present in the microemulsion are modeled as d-limonene and dodecanol heptaethyl ether (C12E7), respectively. MD simulation experiments include two stages: injection of an aqueous-phase microemulsion treatment fluid into the oil-saturated kerogen pore network, and transient flowback of the fluids in the pore network. The used 3D kerogen models were developed using a representative oil-sample composition (hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen) from the region. Simulation results show that microemulsions affect the reservoir by means of two different mechanisms. First, during the injection, microemulsion droplets possess elastic properties that allow them to squeeze through inorganic pores smaller than the droplet’s own diameter and to adsorb at the kerogen surfaces. The solvent dissolves in the oil phase and alters the physical and transport properties of the phase. Second, the surfactant molecules modify the wettability of the solid kerogen surfaces. Consequently, the recovery effectiveness of heavier oil fractions is improved compared with the recovery effectiveness achieved with surfactant micelles without the solubilized solvent.
The results indicate that solubilized solvent and surfactant can be effectively delivered into organic-rich nanoporous formations as part of a microemulsion droplet and aid in the mobilization of the kerogen oil.
|File Size||4 MB||Number of Pages||14|
Adesida, A. G., Akkutlu, I., Resasco, D. E. et al. 2011. Characterization of Barnett Shale Kerogen Pore Size Distribution Using DFT Analysis and Grand Canonical Monte Carlo Simulations. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October–2 November. SPE-147397-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/147397-MS.
Akkutlu, I. Y. and Fathi, E. 2012. Multiscale Gas Transport in Shales With Local Kerogen Heterogeneities. SPE J. 17 (4): 1002–1011. SPE-146422-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/146422-PA.
Berendsen, H. J. C., Grigera, J. R., and Straatsma, T. P. 1987. The Missing Term in Effective Pair Potentials. J Phys Chem 91 (24): 6269–6271. https://doi.org/10.1021/j100308a038.
Bousige, C., Ghimbeu, C. M., Vix-Guterl, C. et al. 2016. Realistic Molecular Model of Kerogen’s Nanostructure. Nat Mater 15: 576–582. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4541.
Bui, K. and Akkutlu, I. Y. 2017. Hydrocarbons Recovery From Model-Kerogen Nanopores. SPE J. 22 (3): 854–862. SPE-185162-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/185162-PA.
Bui, K., Akkutlu, I. Y., Zelenev, A. et al. 2016. Insights Into Mobilization of Shale Oil by Use of Microemulsion. SPE J. 21 (2): 613–620. SPE-178630-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/178630-PA.
Bui, K., Akkutlu, I. Y., Zelenev, A. S. et al. 2017. Understanding Penetration Behavior of Microemulsions Into Shale Nanopores. Presented at the SPE Europec featured at the 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, Paris, France, 12–15 June. SPE-185787-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/185787-MS.
Champagne, L. M., Zelenev, A. S., Penny, G. S. et al. 2011. Critical Assessment of Microemulsion Technology for Enhancing Fluid Recovery From Tight Gas Formations and Propped Fractures. Presented at the SPE European Formation Damage Conference, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 7–10 June. SPE-144095-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/144095-MS.
Collell, J., Ungerer, P., Galliero, G. et al. 2014. Molecular Simulation of Bulk Organic Matter in Type II Shales in the Middle of the Oil Formation Window. Energy Fuels 28 (12): 7457–7466. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef5021632.
Falk, K., Coasne, B., Pellenq, R. et al. 2015. Subcontinuum Mass Transport of Condensed Hydrocarbons in Nanoporous Media. Nat Commun 6: 6949. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7949.
Hernandez, H. W., Ehlert, W., and Trabelsi, S. 2019. Removal of Crude Oil Residue From Solid Surfaces Using Microemulsions. Fuel 237 (1 February): 398–404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2018.10.035.
Hess, B., Kutzner, C., van der Spoel, D. et al. 2008. GROMACS 4: Algorithms for Highly Efficient, Load-Balanced, and Scalable Molecular Simulation. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 4 (3): 435–447. https://doi.org/10.1021/ct700301q.
Humphrey, W., Dalke, A., and Schulten, K. 1996. VMD: Visual Molecular Dynamics. J Mol Graph 14 (1): 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/0263-7855(96)00018-5.
Josh, M., Esteban, L., Delle Piane, C. et al. 2012. Laboratory Characterisation of Shale Properties. J Pet Sci Eng 88–89 (June): 107–124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2012.01.023.
Kou, R., Alafnan, S. F. K., and Akkutlu, I. Y. 2016. Coupling of Darcy’s Equation With Molecular Transport and Its Application to Upscaling Kerogen Permeability. Presented at SPE Europec featured at the 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 30 May–2 June. SPE-180112-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/180112-MS.
Loucks, R. G., Reed, R. M., Ruppel, S. C. et al. 2012. Spectrum of Pore Types and Networks in Mudrocks and a Descriptive Classification for Matrix-Related Mudrock Pores. AAPG Bull 96 (6): 1071–1098. https://doi.org/10.1306/08171111061.
Malde, A. K., Zuo, L., Breeze, M. et al. 2011. An Automated Force Field Topology Builder (ATB) and Repository: Version 1.0. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 7 (12): 4026–4037. https://doi.org/10.1021/ct200196m.
Orendt, A. M., Pimienta, I. S. O., Badu, S. R. et al. 2013. Three-Dimensional Structure of the Siskin Green River Oil Shale Kerogen Model: A Comparison Between Calculated and Observed Properties. Energy Fuels 27 (2): 702–710. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef3017046.
Palciauskas, V. V. and Domenico, P. A. 1980. Microfracture Development in Compacting Sediments: Relation to Hydrocarbon-Maturation Kinetics. AAPG Bull. 64 (6): 927–937. https://doi.org/10.1306/2F9193D7-16CE-11D7-8645000102C1865D.
Penny, G. S., Zelenev, A., Lett, N. et al. 2012. Nano Surfactant System Improves Post Frac Oil and Gas Recovery in Hydrocarbon Rich Gas Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 14–18 April. SPE-154308-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/154308-MS.
Pinheiro, M., Martin, R. L., Rycroft, C. H. et al. 2013. Characterization and Comparison of Pore Landscapes in Crystalline Porous Materials. J. Mol. Graph. Model. 44 (July): 208–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmgm.2013.05.007.
Potter, P. E., Maynard, J. B., and Depetris, P. E. 2004. Mud and Mudstones: Introduction and Overview. New York City: Springer.
Ungerer, P., Collell, J., and Yiannourakou, M. 2015. Molecular Modeling of the Volumetric and Thermodynamic Properties of Kerogen: Influence of Organic Type and Maturity. Energy Fuels 29 (1): 91–105. https://doi.org/10.1021/ef502154k.
Van Der Spoel, D., Lindahl, E., Hess, B. et al. 2005. GROMACS: Fast, Flexible, and Free. J Computat Chem 26 (16): 1701–1718. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcc.20291.
Willems, T. F., Rycroft, C. H., Kazi, M. et al. 2012. Algorithms and Tools for High-Throughput Geometry-Based Analysis of Crystalline Porous Materials. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 149 (1): 134–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2011.08.020.
Zelenev, A. S. 2011. Surface Energy of North American Shales and Its Role in Interaction of Shale With Surfactants and Microemulsions. Presented at the SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, The Woodlands, Texas, 11–13 April. SPE-141459-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/141459-MS.
Zelenev, A. S., Champagne, L. M., and Hamilton, M. 2011. Investigation of Interactions of Diluted Microemulsions With Shale Rock and Sand by Adsorption and Wettability Measurements. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 391 (1–3): 201–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2011.07.007.