Experimental Investigation of Heavy Oil Recovery by Natural Surfactant Injection in Heterogeneous Systems Using Micromodel Apparatus

Aabloo, Milad | 2013

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  1. Type of Document: M.Sc. Thesis
  2. Language: Farsi
  3. Document No: 44882 (06)
  4. University: Sharif University of Technology
  5. Department: Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  6. Advisor(s): Rashtchian, Davood; Ghazanfari, Mohammad Hossein
  7. Abstract:
  8. Nowadays, due to limitation of production from conventional oil reservoirs, enhanced recovery from heavy oil reservoirs is of great concern. However, production from these energy resources is not a simple task and production using common technologies is not easily exploitable. Heterogeneous structure and also high surface tension between injected fluid and reservoir oil are of the main challenges during water flooding processes in heavy oil reservoirs. The high surface tension force causes a large part of the oil remains in the reservoir after the water flooding operation. One method for overcoming this problem is the use of surfactants that reduces capillary forces and consequently increases oil recovery. These surfactants are divided into two categories: chemical and natural ones. High cost and detrimental environmental effects resulting from the use of chemical surfactants are the main limitations on the use of these surfactants. Therefore, investing on the development of inexpensive, biodegradable and readily available surfactants is inevitable. In this project an attempt is made to investigate the potential application of natural surfactants for heavy oil recovery purposes. At first, two natural surfactants for EOR studies are introduced.The kinetic and equilibrium adsorption behavior of these surfactants onto reservoir rock is studied. In the second part of this study, macroscopic and microscopic behavior of natural surfactants injection process in heterogeneous porous media considering the heterogeneity and geometric properties of different layers is done using micromodel apparatus. Then under different injection scenarios, the efficiency of natural surfactant flooding for heavy oil recovery is investigated.Furthermore, two phase flow displacementsat pore level are monitored. In the third section of the experiments, the ability of these natural surfactants in modification of rock surfaces from a strong oil-wet condition to a water-wet condition is investigated. The results show that the kinetics of surfactant adsorption onto reservoir rocks follows second order. Freundlich isotherm model well represents the experimental equilibrium adsorption data. Injection experiments showed that the natural surfactants are efficient in heavy oil recovery. Moreover, the results indicate that the heterogeneity of the porous medium has an important effect on the efficiency of surfactant flooding process. Contact angle experiments show that proposed natural surfactants have an ability to change the wettability of reservoir rock from oil-wet state toward a water-wet condition
  9. Keywords:
  10. Natural Surfactants ; Heterogeneous Reservoirs ; Adsorption Kinetics ; Equilibrium Adsorption ; Wettability Alteration

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