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Title: 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 » water-wetting. The other fast surfactant screening method is based on the flotation behavior of powdered calcite in water. In this test protocol, first the calcite power is pre-treated to make the surface oil-wet. The next step is to add the pre-treated powder to a test tube and add a candidate aqueous surfactant formulation; the greater the percentage of the calcite that now sinks to the bottom rather than floats, the more effective the surfactant is in changing the solids to become now preferentially water-wet. Results from the screening test generally are consistent with surfactant performance reported in the literature. « less
Authors: ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:842013
DOE Contract Number:FC26-04NT15521
Resource Type:Technical Report
Data Type:
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: 1 Jul 2005
Research Org:California Institute of Technology (US)
Sponsoring Org:(US)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 02 PETROLEUM; CALCITE; CARBONATES; FLOTATION; PERFORMANCE; PETROLEUM; RESERVOIR ROCK; SURFACTANTS; WATER; WETTABILITY