SCREENING METHODS FOR SELECTION OF SURFACTANT FORMULATIONS FOR IOR FROM FRACTURED CARBONATE RESERVOIRS
SCREENING METHODS FOR SELECTION OF SURFACTANT FORMULATIONS FOR IOR FROM FRACTURED CARBONATE RESERVOIRS This topical report presents details of the laboratory work performed to complete Task 1 of this project; developing rapid screening methods to assess surfactant performance for IOR (Improved Oil Recovery) from fractured carbonate reservoirs. The desired outcome is to identify surfactant formulations that increase the rate and amount of aqueous phase imbibition into oil-rich, oil-wet carbonate reservoir rock. Changing the wettability from oil-wet to water-wet is one key to enhancing this water-phase imbibition process that in turn recovers additional oil from the matrix portion of a carbonate reservoir. The common laboratory test to evaluate candidate surfactant formulations is to measure directly the aqueous imbibition rate and oil recovery from small outcrop or reservoir cores, but this procedure typically requires several weeks. Two methods are presented here for the rapid screening of candidate surfactant formulations for their potential IOR performance in carbonate reservoirs. One promising surfactant screening protocol is based on the ability of a surfactant solution to remove aged crude oil that coats a clear calcite crystal (Iceland Spar). Good surfactant candidate solutions remove the most oil the quickest from the chips, plus change the apparent contact angle of the remaining oil droplets on the surface that thereby indicate increased more »
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