An Experimental Study of CO2-low Salinity Water Alternating Gas Injection in Sandstone Heavy Oil Reservoirs

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Abstract

Several studies have shown that oil recovery significantly increased by low salinity water flooding (LSWF) in sandstones. However, mechanism of oil recovery improvement is still controversial. CO2 that develops buffer in presence of water is expected as a deterrent factor in LSWF efficiency based on mechanism of IFT reduction due to pH uprising. No bright evidence in literature supports this idea.  Here, a set of core floods including a pair of CO2 WAG and a pair of water injection tests are conducted and, the efficiency of LSWF and high salinity water flooding (HSWF) were compared for each pair. HSWF was followed by LSWF in tertiary mode. Results showed that not only CO2 does not deteriorate LSWF recovery efficiency, but also improves recovery. Since CO2-low salinity WAG showed best performance among types by constant pore volume injected. Positive results in both secondary and tertiary modes with Kaolinite free samples used here showed that Kaolinite release is not the critical phenomenon in LSWF brisk performance. Also different pressure behaviour of CO2 WAG processes in comparison with reported behaviour of LSWF proves that LSWF performance may not depend on how pressure changes through flooding.

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