Experimental analysis of hybrid low salinity water alternating gas injection and the underlying mechanisms in carbonates

Nikoo Moradpour, Peyman Pourafshary, Davood Zivar

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Enhanced oil recovery methods have been widely used around the world to improve ultimate hydrocarbon recovery. Among them, low salinity water flooding has gained attention as a practical enhanced oil recovery method which modifies the rock wettability to a more hydrophilic state. Besides, gas, mainly CO2, injection by means of water alternating gas process is proved to improve un-swept oil recovery due to the mobility control of displacing fluids. Hence, the mutual application of these two enhanced oil recovery techniques, as low salinity water alternating gas) injection, benefits the driving mechanisms subjected by both methods resulting in higher oil production. In this study, a series of experiments including contact angle measurements, gas solubility in brine, emulsion formation, and coreflooding were conducted. Wettability alteration of the carbonate samples towards the more water wet state was observed by the contact angle measurements for diluted sea waters which shows salinity of the injected water can play a significant role in the enhancement of ultimate oil recovery. 10 times diluted brine was found to be the optimum one which changed the contact angle for 52°. It shows that there is an optimum concentration for different CBR systems under which the available PDIs are not sufficient to alter the rock wettability to a greater extent. The presence of gas phases favorably improved the wettability modification. The successful performance of 10 times diluted brine was also confirmed by emulsion formation tests. For this case, the number of the generated water in oil emulsion droplets was 1.54 times that of SW. Stable emulsions enhance the oil displacement through provoking wettability alteration by low salinity water and mobilizing the residual oil via the osmotic effect. Finally, a 10.8% incremental oil recovery by low salinity water alternating gas flooding verified the synergistic effects of this method regarding enhanced oil recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108562
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • CO
  • CO solubility
  • Emulsion
  • Low salinity water
  • WAG
  • Wettability alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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