E3S Web Conf.
Volume 146, 2020The 2019 International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts (SCA 2019)
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||05 February 2020|
A Surface Complexation Model of Alkaline-SmartWater Electrokinetic Interactions in Carbonates
Saudi Aramco, EXPEC Advanced Research Center, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding the effect of injection water chemistry is becoming crucial, as it has been recently shown to have a major impact on oil recovery processes in carbonate formations. Various studies have concluded that surface charge alteration is the primary mechanism behind the observed change of wettability towards water-wet due to SmartWater injection in carbonates. Therefore, understanding the surface charges at brine/calcite and brine/crude oil interfaces becomes essential to optimize the injection water compositions for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in carbonate formations. In this work, the physicochemical interactions of different brine recipes with and without alkali in carbonates are evaluated using Surface Complexation Model (SCM). First, the zeta-potential of brine/calcite and brine/crude oil interfaces are determined for Smart Water, NaCl, and Na2SO4 brines at fixed salinity. The high salinity seawater is also included to provide the baseline for comparison. Then, two types of Alkali (NaOH and Na2CO3) are added at 0.1 wt% concentration to the different brine recipes to verify their effects on the computed zeta-potential values in the SCM framework. The SCM results are compared with experimental data of zeta-potentials obtained with calcite in brine and crude oil in brine suspensions using the same brines and the two alkali concentrations. The SCM results follow the same trends observed in experimental data to reasonably match the zeta-potential values at the calcite/brine interface. Generally, the addition of alkaline drives the zeta-potentials towards more negative values. This trend towards negative zeta-potential is confirmed for the Smart Water recipe with the impact being more pronounced for Na2CO3 due to the presence of divalent anion carbonate (CO3)-2. Some discrepancy in the zeta-potential magnitude between the SCM results and experiments is observed at the brine/crude oil interface with the addition of alkali. This discrepancy can be attributed to neglecting the reaction of carboxylic acid groups in the crude oil with strong alkali as NaOH and Na2CO3. The novelty of this work is that it clearly validates the SCM results with experimental zeta-potential data to determine the physicochemical interaction of alkaline chemicals with SmartWater in carbonates. These modeling results provide new insights on defining optimal SmartWater compositions to synergize with alkaline chemicals to further improve oil recovery in carbonate reservoirs.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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