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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. 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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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