Fines migration causes formation damage in sandstone reservoirs and water-bearing subsurface formations. Several factors affect fines migration such as composition and salinity of permeating brine, flow rate, and system pH. Electrostatic forces of van der Waals attraction and electric double layer repulsion, gravitational force and hydrodynamic force all contribute to fines detachment and migration under certain conditions. The current research presents a new integrated model of electrostatic, gravitational, and hydrodynamic forces to estimate the critical injection rate of NaCl brine for fines migration initiation in subsurface formations. The DLVO modeling approach was modified by considering electrostatic, hydrodynamic, and gravitational forces. Parameters such as injection brine salinity, average fine particle size, and zeta potential of sand-brine systems were used, and effective forces were quantified. A microscopic force and torque balance approach was applied to model hydrodynamic forces to modify the DLVO model. The developed models were validated with experimental results. The profiles of injection velocity versus fine particle radius were generated and the models predicted critical flow rates of 0.9, 2.6, and 3.8 cc/min for 0.15 M, 0.2 M, and 0.25 M NaCl, respectively. For model validation, the coreflood experiments were performed on Berea sandstone core samples under given salinities and critical flow rates were determined. Comparable experimental results were obtained with critical flow rates of 1, 3, and 4 cc/min for 0.15 M, 0.2 M, and 0.25 M NaCl, respectively. In addition, sensitivity analysis assesses the impact of different forces on the fines migration phenomenon. Formation damage caused by fines migration is a well-documented problem in sandstone reservoirs and water-bearing formations. Regulating the injection/ permeating fluid rate and salinity can avoid fines migration and associated permeability impairment. Our study presents a novel approach incorporating electrostatic, gravitational, and hydrodynamic forces to accurately predict fines mobilization in fine-containing subsurface formations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry