Rahayyem, Maher (Saudi Aramco) | Mostaghimi, Peyman (School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, The University of New South Wales) | Alzahid, Yara A. (School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, The University of New South Wales) | Halim, Amalia (School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, The University of New South Wales) | Evangelista, Lucas (Biotech Processing Supply, LLC) | Armstrong, Ryan T. (School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, The University of New South Wales)
Enzyme Enhanced Oil Recovery (EEOR) has recently been categorized as one of the most effective EOR mechanisms. Laboratory and field studies have reported up to 16% of incremental oil recovery rates. EEOR recovers oil mainly by two main mechanisms: lowering the interfacial tension between brine and oil and altering the wettability on rock grains to a more water-wet condition. Therefore, EEOR would promote mobilization of capillary-trapped oil after regular waterflooding. Since capillary-trapped oil resides at the micro-scale, it is essential to assess EEOR fluid-fluid interaction at that scale. To further investigate the ways in which these enzymes contribute to EOR, an experimental micro-scale approach was developed in which EEOR was analyzed using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic devices. The PDMS microfluidics device was based on X-ray micro-CT images of a Bentheimer sandstone with resolution of 4.95 μm. We first compared the IFT reduction capabilities of one class of enzyme (Apollo GreenZyme ®) and a commercial surfactant (J13131) obtained from Shell Chemicals. For GreenZyme concentrations of 0.5, 1.5 and 2 wt%, the IFT values between GreenZyme solution and oil are 4.2, 0.7 and 0.6 mN/m, respectively. Whereas the IFT values for 0.5 wt% surfactant solutions and deionized water are 1.1 and 32 mN/m, respectively. We then compared the oil recovery of the two systems using the aforementioned sandstone PDMS microfluidics device. Recovery values up to 92% of oilwere obtained using GreenZyme. Surfactant and waterflooding on the same PDMS chips had recovery values of 86 and 80%, respectively. This study provides insights and direct visualization of the micro-scale oil recovery mechanisms of EEOR that can be used for design of effective EEOR flooding.
Arshad, Muhammad Waseem (Technical University of Denmark DTU, DTU Chemical Engineering, Center for Energy Resources Engineering, Søltofts Plads 229, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby) | Loldrup Fosbøl, Philip (Technical University of Denmark DTU, DTU Chemical Engineering, Center for Energy Resources Engineering, Søltofts Plads 229, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby) | Shapiro, Alexander (Technical University of Denmark DTU, DTU Chemical Engineering, Center for Energy Resources Engineering, Søltofts Plads 229, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby) | Thomsen, Kaj (Technical University of Denmark DTU, DTU Chemical Engineering, Center for Energy Resources Engineering, Søltofts Plads 229, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby)
Smart water flooding is an advanced method for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in which the composition of injected brine is altered by varying the concentration of selected ions that can increase the oil recovery from various carbonate reservoirs. Besides wettability alteration mechanism, the formation of water-soluble oil emulsions has been reported as a possible reason to explain the observed increase in oil recovery using smart water. The formation of water-soluble oil emulsions takes place on the interaction of insoluble salts (fines) with oils. However, the interaction of these fines with the crude oil is not very well studied for carbonate reservoirs. This work presents emulsion formation in water-oil systems in the presence of water-insoluble fines. The effect of amount of fines on emulsion formation is also examined.
Synthetic seawater (SSW) and deionized water (DIW) were used as water phase, two model oils (decane (D) and 1:1 vol. ratio of hexane-hexadecane (HH) mixture) and North Sea crude oil (NSCO) were used as oil phase, and fines of CaCO3 (≤ 30 µm) and CaSO4 (≈ 44 µm) were used as solid phase. Branson Sonifier® SFX250 was used for emulsion formation (based on the principle of ultrasonic processing). All the experiments were performed for the same conditions of 5 minutes of ultrasonic processing at an output power of 30 W by using 6.5 mm tapered microtip (sonication probe). Emulsion characterization was done by using an optical microscope (Axio Scaope.A1).
Several combinations of water-oil-fines were tested. The tests consisted of control experiments (in which only water-oil without any fines were tested) and water-oil-fines experiments. In the control experiments (without fines), SSW did not show any tendency to emulsify neither with the model oils nor with NSCO. However, DIW showed clear tendency to emulsify with model oils and NSCO. Amongst model oils, DIW emulsified with HH better compared to decane. Similar results were observed in the water-oil-fines experiments. SSW did not form any emulsion with the model oils in the presence of fines of CaCO3 and CaSO4. However, significant amounts of emulsion formation were observed when DIW was sonicated with model oils and fines. HH formed more emulsions compared to decane. For NSCO case, both SSW and DIW formed a significant amount of emulsions with both types of fines (CaCO3 and CaSO4). An increase in amount of fines showed an increase in emulsion formation and a better emulsion stabilization. Sonication is a quick and reliable technique to screen out emulsion formation in different combinations of water-oil-fines.
This work will further develop our understanding of emulsion formation in the water-oil-fines systems.
Thomas, P. Wang, K. Eskandaridalvand, and J. Hornbrook, DeGolyer & MacNaughton; G.A. Pope, The University of Texas at Austin; and E. Al-Maraghi, B.B. Singh, B.S. Al-Matar, B.A. Al-Saad, M.M. Al-Qahtani, and S. Tiwari, Kuwait Oil Company, prepared for the 2015 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, 23–25 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed. This article is reserved for SPE members and JPT subscribers.
SAMA is a giant carbonate oil reservoir covering more than 200 km2 in northern Kuwait. Oil production began in January 1958 and continued under primary recovery until 2000. In 1998, a waterflood pilot was conducted successfully. As a result, inverted-nine-spot waterflood patterns were implemented in 2001. As of 2011, the fieldwide water cut reached approximately 30%.