A hybrid enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method by combining low salinity water (LSW) and low salinity surfactant (LSS) flooding techniques was designed. Different experiments were done to screen the Caspian seawater (SW) with altered ionic composition and surfactant, for the optimized performance in Kazakhstani carbonate oil fields. Changing to a more water-wet state and creating the middle phase were studied as the main criteria to select the best-engineered brine and anionic surfactant. The largest alteration towards the water-wet condition was recorded at 10 times dilution of the SW with 3- and 6- times spiked calcium and sulfate ions, respectively (10xSW-6SO4, Mg, 3Ca). This combination of anionic surfactants with carbonate formations is considered as a new approach in hybrid EOR methods. Among the anionic surfactants screened, Soloterra-113H (Alkyl Benzenesulfonic acid) showed the best solubilization ratio, aqueous stability, and Winsor type 3 microemulsions. The wettability alteration by the combination of optimized brine and screened surfactant was greater compared to the standalone LSW, which was confirmed by the 10° difference in contact angle measurement. The microemulsion phase constituted nearly 40% of the total height of the oil/brine column by the hybrid method. The recovery factor after injecting formation water was 52%, and it increased to 61% after optimized LSW injection. After switching to the engineered brine/surfactant, the recovery factor reached 70%, which proves the effectiveness of the hybrid method. The proposed combined method works better than either standalone EOR method due to the higher alteration in capillary number by changing wettability and reducing IFT, which leads to higher oil recovery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Fuel Technology
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Geochemistry and Petrology