Managing Injected Water Composition To Improve Oil Recovery: A Case Study of North Sea Chalk Reservoirs

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In recent years, many core displacement experiments of oil by seawater performed on chalk rock samples have reported SO42–, Ca2+, and Mg2+ as potential determining ions for improving oil recovery. Most of these studies were carried out with outcrop chalk core plugs. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of the advanced waterflooding process by carrying out experiments with reservoir chalk samples. The study results in a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in increasing the oil recovery with potential determining ions. We carried out waterflooding instead of spontaneous imbibition, which has been applied in most of the previous studies. Two different flooding schemes (with and without aging) were used for flooding North Sea reservoir chalk samples. For comparison, two tests were also carried out with Stevns Klint core plugs. The flooding tests were carried out with the following injecting fluids: distilled water, brine with and without sulfate, and brine containing only magnesium ions. The total oil recovery, recovery rate, and interaction mechanisms of ions with rock were studied for different injecting fluids at different temperatures and wettability conditions. Studies of the temperature dependence of the oil recovery indicated that the interaction of the ions contained in brine with the rock cannot be the only determining mechanism of enhanced recovery. We observed no substitution of Ca2+ ions with Mg2+ ions at high temperatures for both rocks. Not only the injection brine composition but also the formation water composition affected the oil recovery at high temperatures from the Stevns Klint chalk rock.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy & Fuels
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)3407-3415
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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© 2012 American Chemical Society


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