Membrane behavior of crude oil as a new mechanism of enhanced oil recovery by smart water injection
Paper ID : 1208-MST2015-FULL
Alireza Bahramain *1, Yadollah Bahramian2, Hamid Vatanparast2, Hamide Ehtesabi3
1Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran
2Institute of Petroleum Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3Institute of Petroleum Enginnering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
In spite of growing interest in using modified water injection such as smart water and low salinity waterflooding, to improve recovery from oil fields, no consistent explanation of its mechanism has been emerged yet. In real conditions in the oil reservoir, chemical potential of water molecules in formation water could be different from that in injection fluid. This chemical potential difference could result in an osmosis flow from injected water to formation water in presence of a membrane. Since crude oil is impermeable to ions, it can behave as a membrane separating formation water and injected fluids and hence results in an osmosis flow. This phenomenon can be deemed as one the main mechanisms of the oil recovery in smart water injection. To the best of our knowledge, there is no report on any investigation about the membrane behavior of crude oil and its impact on oil recovery. In this study we introduce a novel setup based on the buoyancy to investigate membrane behavior of the crude oil. By measuring buoyant force, dynamic flow of water between formation water and distilled water was determined. Different types of crude oil were used as the membrane. The results confirm membrane behavior of crude oil with the consequent applications for modifying waterflooding procedures in enhancing oil recovery.
Smart Water, Crude Oil Membrane, Oil Recovery Mechanism, Buoyancy, Osmosis Flow
Status : Paper Accepted (Poster Presentation)