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Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. Anionic surfactants (SS-6656, Alfoterra 35, 38, 63,65,68) have been identified which can change the wettability of the calcite surface to intermediate/water-wet condition as well or better than the cationic surfactant DTAB with a West Texas crude oil in the presence of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. All the carbonate surfaces (Lithographic Limestone, Marble, Dolomite and Calcite) show similar behavior with respect to wettability alteration with surfactant 4-22. Anionic surfactants (5-166, Alfoterra-33 and Alfoterra-38 and Alfoterra-68), which lower the interfacial tension with a West Texas crude oil to very low values (<10{sup -2} nM/m), have also been identified. Plans for the next quarter include conducting wettability, mobilization, and imbibition studies.
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. Laboratory imbibition tests show that imbibition rate is not very sensitive to the surfactant concentration (in the range of 0.05-0.2 wt%) and small amounts of trapped gas saturation. It is however very sensitive to oil permeability and water-oil-ratio. Less than 0.5 M Na2CO3 is needed for in situ soap generation and low adsorption; NaCl can be added to reach the necessary total salinity. The simulation result matches the laboratory imbibition experimental data. Small fracture spacing and high permeability would be needed for high rate of recovery.
Date: July 1, 2005
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. We have conducted adsorption, phase behavior, interfacial tension (IFT) and wettability studies. Addition of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} decreases IFT with a minimum at about 0.2 M. Addition of surfactant decreases IFT further. In the absence of surfactant the minerals are oil-wet after aging with crude oil. Addition of surfactant solution decreases the contact angle to intermediate-wet for many surfactants and water-wet for one surfactant. Addition of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} decreases anionic surfactant adsorption on calcite surface. Plans for the next quarter include conducting core adsorption, phase behavior, wettability and mobilization studies.
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. Imbibition in an originally oil-wet 2D capillary is the fastest in the case of Alf-38 and slowest in the case of DTAB (among the surfactants studied). Force of adhesion studies and contact angle measurements show that greater wettability alteration is possible with these anionic surfactants than the cationic surfactant studied. The water imbibition rate does not increase monotonically with an increase in the surfactant concentration. A numerical model has been developed that fits the rate of imbibition. Plans for the next quarter include conducting simulation and imbibition studies.
Date: January 1, 2005
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. We have conducted adsorption, phase behavior and wettability studies. Addition of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} decreases IFT with a minimum at about 0.2 M. Addition of surfactant decreases IFT further. In the absence of surfactant the minerals are oil wet after aging with crude oil. Addition of surfactant solution decreases the contact angle to intermediate wettability. Addition of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} decreases anionic surfactant adsorption on calcite surface. Plans for the next quarter include conducting adsorption, phase behavior and wettability studies.
Date: July 1, 2003
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. Simulation studies indicate that both wettability alteration and gravity-driven flow play significant role in oil recovery from fractured carbonates. Anionic surfactants (Alfoterra 35, 38) recover about 55% of the oil in about 150 days by imbibition driven by wettability alteration and low tension in the core-scale. Anionic surfactant, Alfoterra-68, recovers about 40% of the oil by lower tension aided gravity-driven imbibition in the core-scale. Cationic surfactant, DTAB recovers about 35% of the oil. Plans for the next quarter include conducting simulation and imbibition studies.
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. We have conducted adsorption, phase behavior, interfacial tension (IFT) and wettability studies. Alfoterra-38 (0.05 wt%), Alfoterra-35 (0.05 wt%), SS-6656 (0.05 wt%), and DTAB (1 wt%) altered the wettability of the initially oil-wet calcite plate to an intermediate/water-wet state. Low IFT ({approx}10{sup -3} dynes/cm) is obtained with surfactants 5-166, Alfoterra-33 and Alfoterra-38. Plans for the next quarter include conducting wettability and mobilization studies.
Date: October 1, 2003
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. We have acquired field oil and core samples and field brine compositions from Marathon. We have conducted preliminary adsorption and wettability studies. Addition of Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} decreases anionic surfactant adsorption on calcite surface. Receding contact angles increase with surfactant adsorption. Plans for the next quarter include conducting adsorption, phase behavior and wettability studies.
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.

Dilute Surfactant Methods for Carbonate Formations Quarterly Report

Description: There are many carbonate reservoirs in US (and the world) with light oil and fracture pressure below its minimum miscibility pressure (or reservoir may be naturally fractured). Many carbonate reservoirs are naturally fractured. Waterflooding is effective in fractured reservoirs, if the formation is water-wet. Many fractured carbonate reservoirs, however, are mixed-wet and recoveries with conventional methods are low (less than 10%). Thermal and miscible tertiary recovery techniques are not effective in these reservoirs. Surfactant flooding (or huff-n-puff) is the only hope, yet it was developed for sandstone reservoirs in the past. The goal of this research is to evaluate dilute (hence relatively inexpensive) surfactant methods for carbonate formations and identify conditions under which they can be effective. Laboratory imbibition tests show about 61% oil recovery in the case of Alf-38 and 37% in the case of DTAB. A numerical model has been developed that fits the rate of imbibition of the laboratory experiment. Field-scale fracture block simulation shows that as the fracture spacing increases, so does the time of recovery. Plans for the next quarter include simulation studies.
Date: April 1, 2005
Creator: Mohanty, Kishore K.