The Open Petroleum Engineering Journal


ISSN: 1874-8341 ― Volume 12, 2019

Simulation of Surfactant Based Enhanced Oil Recovery

The Open Petroleum Engineering Journal, 2012, 5: 78-87

Wan Rosli Wan Sulaiman, Euy Soo Lee

Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Dongguk University, 3-26, Pil-Dong, Chung-gu, Seoul, 100-715, Korea.

Electronic publication date 06/8/2012
[DOI: 10.2174/1874834101205010078]


Surfactant flooding is an important process for enhanced oil recovery. A substantial amount of remaining oil resides in reservoirs especially in carbonate oil reservoirs that have low primary and water-flood oil recovery. Most of the surfactant flooding studies to date has been performed in water-wet sandstone reservoirs. As a result, the effects of heterogeneity and wettability of carbonates on surfactant flooding efficiency are fairly unknown. The purpose of this simulation study was to determine the effects of wettability and wettability alteration on Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate surfactant flooding in carbonate reservoirs. This study used the multi-phase, multi-component, surfactant flooding simulator called UTCHEM. The base case results showed that additional 27.8% of oil recovered after water-flooding process. Sensitivity analyses of key parameters such as chemical slug size and concentrations, salinity, reservoir heterogeneity and surfactant adsorption were performed to optimize a surfactant design for a mixed-wet dolomite reservoir. The study was then extended to simulating wettability alteration during the field scale surfactant flood. The results of modeling the wettability alteration showed that significant differences in injectivity and oil recovery are caused by the changes in the mobility of the injected fluid. As the use of surfactant flooding spreads into the reservoir especially oil-wet and mixed-wet reservoirs, the importance of surfactant-based wettability alteration will become important.

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