Condensate blockage presents a serious production problem due to loss of gas productivity. Several methods have been proposed to resolve condensate blockage to restore the well productivity, most commonly used technique is hydraulic fracturing. Although, it is most commonly used, it is not always feasible and favorable due to its inclusion of costly chemicals such as surfactants, which could also be as hazardous material. Our objective in the current study, is replacing such surfactants with natural green surfactants which are more economical and environmentally friendly.
Interfacial tension and contact angle experiments were carried out to examine the efficiency of two different natural green surfactants in comparison to two commonly used chemical surfactants in fracturing fluids. The results revealed that natural green surfactant is efficient in reducing the interfacial tension by 74.1% compared to 94.8% when using alcohol-based surfactants. Moreover, the natural green surfactant showed stronger effect in altering the surface wettability in sandstone formations towards strongly water-wet with a contact angle reduction of 61% compared to 32% in the case of alcohol-based surfactants.
Based on the concentration used here, the natural green surfactants are more cost-effective, a product cost reduction of more than 50% can be obtained. Being efficient in reducing the interfacial tension, altering the surface wettability towards stronger water-wet, abundant in nature, environmentally friendly, and, cheaper cost, this new proposed natural surfactant can replace the currently used chemical surfactants for condensate bloackage.