Intermittent alkali flooding can significantly enhance oil recovery in oil-wet carbonate reservoirs. The method basically acts in two ways, by reducing the interfacial tension between the reservoir fluids and by reversing the wettability to a more favorable condition. However, the reversal of wettability requires aging time to reach the equilibrium. An intermittent or a pausing period is then adopted for the proposed alkali flooding process to let the surface reaching the maximum favorable wettability. As the injected fluid is paused during the flood process, vertical or inclined reservoirs are more suitable for this combination because the water tongue effect does not cause an early breakthrough. Laboratory results show that one-week-intermittent alkali flooding in homogeneous carbonate rock yields greater oil recovery, about 10 percent larger than conventional continuous alkali flooding in a proper range of injected alkali concentration. Low alkali concentration causes quick alkali depletion as time increases, while high alkali concentration causes pore plugging by in-situ precipitation of insoluble soap. The alkalinity of injected fluid should be kept as high as possible. Therefore, a strong alkali such as sodium hydroxide is recommended. High acid concentration in crude drives in-situ saponification frontward; hence, alkali concentration range should be carefully studied. Normally, high initial water saturation prevents the system from alkali accumulation and, as a consequence, insoluble soap precipitation is less concerned. Fractured carbonate reservoirs are probably the most suitable candidates for the application of this technique, since aging time would allow alkali to diffuse to, and reverse the wettability of the inaccessible and unswept zones. The proposed technique seems very effective to increase the ultimate oil recovery in oil-wet carbonate reservoir. The drawbacks seem acceptable and the expected results are promising.

Intermittent Alkali Flooding in Vertical Carbonate Reservoirs

BORTOLOTTI, VILLIAM;GOTTARDI, GUIDO;MACINI, PAOLO;SRISURIYACHAI, FALAN
2009

Abstract

Intermittent alkali flooding can significantly enhance oil recovery in oil-wet carbonate reservoirs. The method basically acts in two ways, by reducing the interfacial tension between the reservoir fluids and by reversing the wettability to a more favorable condition. However, the reversal of wettability requires aging time to reach the equilibrium. An intermittent or a pausing period is then adopted for the proposed alkali flooding process to let the surface reaching the maximum favorable wettability. As the injected fluid is paused during the flood process, vertical or inclined reservoirs are more suitable for this combination because the water tongue effect does not cause an early breakthrough. Laboratory results show that one-week-intermittent alkali flooding in homogeneous carbonate rock yields greater oil recovery, about 10 percent larger than conventional continuous alkali flooding in a proper range of injected alkali concentration. Low alkali concentration causes quick alkali depletion as time increases, while high alkali concentration causes pore plugging by in-situ precipitation of insoluble soap. The alkalinity of injected fluid should be kept as high as possible. Therefore, a strong alkali such as sodium hydroxide is recommended. High acid concentration in crude drives in-situ saponification frontward; hence, alkali concentration range should be carefully studied. Normally, high initial water saturation prevents the system from alkali accumulation and, as a consequence, insoluble soap precipitation is less concerned. Fractured carbonate reservoirs are probably the most suitable candidates for the application of this technique, since aging time would allow alkali to diffuse to, and reverse the wettability of the inaccessible and unswept zones. The proposed technique seems very effective to increase the ultimate oil recovery in oil-wet carbonate reservoir. The drawbacks seem acceptable and the expected results are promising.
SPE Paper 121832, Proc. 2009 SPE/EAGE Conference
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Bortolotti, Villiam; Gottardi, Guido; Macini, Paolo; Srisuriyachai, Falan
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/82802
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