Enhanced Waterflooding Design With Dilute Surfactant Concentrations for North Sea Conditions
- A.M. Michels (Shell Research Rijswijk) | R.S. Djojosoeparto (Shell Research Rijswijk) | H. Haas (Shell Research Rijswijk) | R.B. Mattern (Shell Research Rijswijk) | P.B. van der Weg (Shell Research Rijswijk) | W.M. Schulte (Shell Research Rijswijk)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Engineering
- Publication Date
- August 1996
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 189 - 195
- 1996. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 6.5.4 Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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Efficient selection procedures for surfactants have been applied to design a low concentration surfactant flooding process for North Sea oil field application. Anionic surfactants of the propoxy-ethoxy glyceryl sulphonate type can be used at 0.1 wt% concentrations together with sacrificial agents and without a polymer drive. Currently estimated unit technical costs (@8%) for application in the North Sea oil fields range from 13 to 15 $/incremental barrel, without taking uncertainty factors into account. Including such factors will likely add another 5 $/bbl to the costs.
North Sea oil fields form a very large target for dilute surfactant flooding (DSF), some tens of millions tons of oil. Most of these fields produce light, low viscosity oil from sandstone reservoirs at high temperatures.
The high costs of classical surfactant flooding techniques have inhibited the implementation of this technique in general and in the harsh environment of the Northern North Sea in particular. As a consequence a few years ago the research into surfactant flooding was redirected in an attempt to reduce costs with an order of magnitude. Some main design constraints were defined up-front to steer research towards an economic application. These main constraints were the application in a late secondary in stead of tertiary mode, use of dilute concentrations, reduce adsorption by sacrificial agents, avoiding the need for a polymer drive and reduce the risk of emulsions in the surface facilities.
Research has concentrated on a surfactant mixture for which extremely low interfacial tensions between surfactant solution and oil can be created at concentrations around 0.1 wt%. Application of these surfactants was aimed at using such a system in its II- phase environment, trying to avoid the formation of micro-emulsions in a reservoir. Micro-emulsions are generally the cause of large retention and mobility problems.
In this paper the target field selection criteria, the chemical formulation for the surfactant system and the results of laboratory floods will be discussed, followed by an economic evaluation.
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