Oil Recovery Increases by Low-Salinity Flooding: Minnelusa and Green River Formations

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Waterflooding is by far the most widely used method in the world to increase oil recovery. Historically, little consideration has been given in reservoir engineering practice to the effect of injection brine composition on waterflood displacement efficiency or to the possibility of increased oil recovery through manipulation of the composition of the injected water. However, recent work has shown that oil recovery can be significantly increased by modifying the injection brine chemistry or by injecting diluted or low salinity brine. This paper reports on laboratory work done to increase the understanding of improved oil recovery by waterflooding with low salinity ... continued below

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Robertson, Eric P. September 1, 2010.

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Waterflooding is by far the most widely used method in the world to increase oil recovery. Historically, little consideration has been given in reservoir engineering practice to the effect of injection brine composition on waterflood displacement efficiency or to the possibility of increased oil recovery through manipulation of the composition of the injected water. However, recent work has shown that oil recovery can be significantly increased by modifying the injection brine chemistry or by injecting diluted or low salinity brine. This paper reports on laboratory work done to increase the understanding of improved oil recovery by waterflooding with low salinity injection water. Porous media used in the studies included outcrop Berea sandstone (Ohio, U.S.A.) and reservoir cores from the Green River formation of the Uinta basin (Utah, U.S.A.). Crude oils used in the experimental protocols were taken from the Minnelusa formation of the Powder River basin (Wyoming, U.S.A.) and from the Green River formation, Monument Butte field in the Uinta basin. Laboratory corefloods using Berea sandstone, Minnelusa crude oil, and simulated Minnelusa formation water found a significant relationship between the temperature at which the oil- and water-saturated cores were aged and the oil recovery resulting from low salinity waterflooding. Lower aging temperatures resulted in very little to no additional oil recovery, while cores aged at higher temperatures resulted in significantly higher recoveries from dilute-water floods. Waterflood studies using reservoir cores and fluids from the Green River formation of the Monument Butte field also showed significantly higher oil recoveries from low salinity waterfloods with cores flooded with fresher water recovering 12.4% more oil on average than those flooded with undiluted formation brine.

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  • 2010 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,Florence, Italy,09/19/2010,09/22/2010

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-10-18262
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1034787
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc839872

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  • September 1, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 9, 2016, 12:38 p.m.

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Robertson, Eric P. Oil Recovery Increases by Low-Salinity Flooding: Minnelusa and Green River Formations, article, September 1, 2010; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc839872/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.