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An experimental study of wetting behavior and surfactant EOR in carbonates with model compounds

Wu, Yongfu and Shuler, Patrick J. and Blanco, Mario and Tang, Yongchun and Goddard, William A., III (2008) An experimental study of wetting behavior and surfactant EOR in carbonates with model compounds. SPE Journal, 13 (1). pp. 26-34. ISSN 1086-055X.

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This study focuses on the mechanisms responsible for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) from fractured carbonate reservoirs by surfactant solutions, and methods to screen for effective chemical formulations quickly. One key to this EOR process is the surfactant solution reversing the wettability of the carbonate surfaces from less water-wet to more water-wet conditions. This effect allows the aqueous phase to imbibe into the matrix spontaneously and expel oil bypassed by a waterflood. This study used different naphthenic acids (NA) dissolved in decane as a model oil to render calcite surfaces less water-wet. Because pure compounds are used, trends in wetting behavior can be related to NA molecular structure as measured by solid adsorption; contact angle; and a novel, simple flotation test with calcite powder. Experiments with different surfactants and NA-treated calcite powder provide information about mechanisms responsible for sought-after reversal to a more water-wet state. Results indicate this flotation test is a useful rapid screening tool to identify better EOR surfactants for carbonates. The study considers the application of surfactants for EOR from carbonate reservoirs. This technology provides a new opportunity for EOR, especially for fractured carbonate, where waterflood response typically is poor and the matrix is a high oil-saturation target.

Item Type:Article
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Goddard, William A., III0000-0003-0097-5716
Additional Information:© 2008 Society of Petroleum Engineers. This paper (SPE 99612) was accepted for presentation at the 2006 SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, 22-26 April, and revised for publication. Original manuscript received for review 11 February 2006. Revised manuscript received 20 August 2007. Paper peer approved 21 August 2007. This work was conducted at the California Institute of Technology and financially supported by the Department of Energy Grant DEFC26- 04BC15521. The authors thank Chevron and Akzo Nobel for their collaboration.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of EnergyDEFC26-04BC15521
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100720-143749625
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19134
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Jul 2010 21:59
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:52

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