A New Technique for Examination of Oilfield Brines
- W.P. Aycock (Texas Petroleum Research Committee) | E.W. Hough (U. of Texas) | George W. Crawford (U. of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1957
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 53 - 56
- 1957. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.3.4 Scale
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Forty oilfield brines have been examined so far by a polarographic technique new in petroleum engineering called the "tensammetric method" by the team of biochemists who perfected its use in their field. Samples of brine were obtained from various oil fields in which the wells were known to be producing fluid from oil productive zones in well-known geologic formations. Most of the reservoirs from which the samples were obtained are believed to have an active water drive under the prevailing conditions of operation. The 40 samples represent brines produced from 16 different formations of various geologic ages.
Graphs have been prepared of the data obtained in the testing of each sample, and the distinctive wave-like curves so obtained are characterized by reproducible profiles, called "response curves." Careful comparison of the response curves of salt water coming from different fields producing from the same geologic formation reveals that the curves are similar. The response curves of salt water coming from productive zones of different geologic formations are characteristically different.
Preliminary work offers the further hope that response curves of an oilfield brine indigenous to a particular oil-bearing formation and hence representative of a particular geologic environment, such as depositional and all subsequent morphological conditions, may be of value in reservoir engineering in the interpretation of surface and interfacial phenomena. For example, the wettability of the rock matrix and more specifically, the classification of productive oil-bearing strata as hydrophyllic or hydrophobic may be determinable. However, many more brines must be examined and the resulting response curves analyzed in comparison to known causal phenomena before this objective is achieved.
One of the perennial moot questions in the literature of petroleum engineering is whether the reservoir rock is oil- or water-wet. Possibly an answer to this question could come from a careful examination of oilfield brines. None of the conventional methods of examining brines (chemical analysis, pH and electrical conductivity measurements, and the like) answer the question. Careful analysis of reservoir behavior observed in the exploitation of oil fields, particularly in the application of fluid injection, has been fruitful to the extent that a few reservoirs are believed to be properly classified.
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