E3S Web Conf.
Volume 367, 2023The 2022 International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts (SCA 2022)
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||31 January 2023|
Carbonated Smart Water Injection for Optimized Oil Recovery in Chalk at High Temperature
Department of Energy Resources, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Finding cost-efficient ways of increasing oil production with a low carbon footprint is the new challenge for the petroleum industry that wants to meet the net-zero emission goals by 2050. Smart water injection is an EOR process that increases oil production and delays water breakthrough by wettability alteration. Seawater is a smart water in chalk reservoirs, being especially effective at high temperatures. Different studies have shown that the effectiveness of seawater can be further improved by modifying the ion composition before injection.
Carbonated water (CW) has been proposed as a potential EOR fluid. In addition to producing extra oil, the reduction of greenhouse gas (CO2) in the atmosphere can be achieved by using carbonated smart water as an injection fluid. The main mechanism behind increased oil recovery by injecting carbonated water is believed to be oil viscosity reduction and swelling, as the CO2 is transferred from the aqueous phase to the oil phase. Wettability alteration has also been proposed as a possible mechanism, and this hypothesis is further investigated in this study along with other proposed mechanisms.
Stevns Klint outcrop chalk was used in this study, this material is recognized as an excellent analogue for North Sea chalk reservoirs. Optimized oil recovery by carbonated water in chalk was investigated at a high temperature (130°C) by flooding carbonated formation water (CFW) and carbonated seawater (CSW), to be compared with high saline formation water (FW) and seawater (SW) flooding. The oil/brine/rock/CO2 interactions were tracked by measuring the pH of the produced water (PW) and by identifying any mineralogical changes by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and EDX (Energy Dispersive X-Ray) analyses. The solubility of CO2 in different brines was measured and compared with simulation data performed by PHREEQC. The diffusion of CO2 from the aqueous phase to the oil phase was analysed to check if enough CO2 can be diffused from the carbonated water into the oil phase.
By flooding CSW in both secondary and tertiary modes, a slight increase in the oil recovery was observed and was found to be the best performing brine. The oil recovery was also slightly increased using CFW in tertiary mode after FW which does not behave like smart water for carbonates.
The solubility of CO2 was low and increased by increasing pressure and decreasing brine salinity. The acidity of CW did not increase by increasing pressure. No changes in pore surface minerals were observed after CW flooding, confirming limited mineral dissolution. A mass transfer of CO2 from the brine phase to the oil phase was confirmed in the experimental work, but a significant amount of CO2 remained in the brine phase.
The main mechanism behind this extra oil observed using CW is most likely not linked to oil swelling and viscosity reduction or mineral dissolution which could affect the porosity and the permeability of the rock system. Wettability alteration is a more likely explanation but needs to be looked further into for confirmation.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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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