Study Evaluates Surfactant EOR From Tight Carbonates
In this study, surfactants that can alter wettability or develop ultralow interfacial tension were identified through laboratory measurements for a target carbonate reservoir.
Most carbonate reservoirs are oil-wet/mixed-wet and heterogeneous at multiple scales. The majority of the injected water flows through the high-permeability regions and fractures and bypasses the oil in the matrix because of high negative capillary pressure (Pc). To enhance oil recovery from such reservoirs, the sign of the Pc should be changed by wettability alteration (WA) or the Pc should be reduced by lowering interfacial tension (IFT). In the complete paper, surfactants that can either alter wettability or develop ultralow IFT were identified through laboratory measurements for the target carbonate reservoir.
Contact-angle, IFT, phase-behavior, and imbibition tests were first performed, and surfactants that can either alter wettability or develop ultralow IFT were identified. Then, a laboratory-scale imbibition model was built with commercial reservoir simulation software. A sensitivity study was performed to evaluate the effects of residual oil saturation (Sor), alteration of Pc and relative permeability (Kr), IFT, and matrix scale on oil recovery by surfactant.