Upstream: Drilling, Oil production, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

Use Cases 

How effective are coal fly ash nanoparticle-stabilized-foam for oil recovery?  

Reference: Phong, G. M., Pilus, R. M., Mustaffa, A., Thangavel, L., & Mohamed, N. M. (2020). Relationship between fly ash nanoparticle-stabilized-foam and oil production in core displacement and simulation studies. Fuel, 266, 117033.

In this study, the authors investigate the efficiency of fly ash nanoparticle-stabilized foams for oil recovery. The first step consisted in fabricating highly pure 50 nm particles from coal fly ash. Then, using a foam analyzer (FOAMSCAN™ by Teclis Scientific), coal fly ash nanoparticle-stabilized-foams were characterized in terms of their stability and foamability at high pressure and high temperature. The obtained results showed that both the foamability and the stability were dependent on the ratio between the used surfactant (MFOMAX) and the nanoparticles. For all types of fly ash samples, the concentration 80:20 has the highest foamability and foam stability while the lowest is at 70:30. Finally, oil recovery experiments showed that the fabricated nanoparticles allowed to achieve a higher recovery rate.

TECLIS product: FOAMSCAN™ Foam analyzer

Key words: fly ash nanoparticles, foam, stability, foamability, oil recovery, high pressure, high temperature.

What are the properties and impacts of magnetic graphene oxide on oil recovery process? 

Reference: Xu, Z., Li, Z., Jing, A., Meng, F., Dang, F., & Lu, T. (2019). Synthesis of magnetic graphene oxide (MGO) and auxiliary microwaves to enhance oil recovery. Energy & Fuels, 33(10), 9585-9595.

Microwave heating  is an effective oil recovery method that allows rapid heat transfer, volumetric  and selective heating. In this paper, the authors prepare magnetic graphene oxide (MGO) that could be used in the context of catalyst-assisted microwaves for oil viscosity reduction.  Different characterization techniques are used to probe MGO, MGO suspension in water and the heavy oil viscosity reduction effect of MGO and the oil displacement effect of MGO fluid. In particular, the interaction between MGO solution in water and kerosene is characterized through contact angle measurements using an automatic drop tensiometer (TRACKER) on a quartz substrate.  The results show that the contact angles of oil droplets in the pure water and untreated MGO fluid are relatively close. Moreover, the increase in the microwave treatment time of MGO fluid in three-phase contact areas was not conducive to the spreading of oil droplets on the surface of the quartz glass slide. Hence, the oil droplets gradually separated from the slide.

TECLIS product: TRACKER-H™ (up to 200°/200bar)

Key words: contact angle, oil recovery, microwave heating.

How to optimize the formulation for a Foam Assisted Chemical Flooding process?  

Reference: Janssen, M. T., Mutawa, A. S., Pilus, R. M., & Zitha, P. L. (2019). Foam-assisted chemical flooding for enhanced oil recovery: Effects of slug salinity and drive foam strength. Energy & Fuels, 33(6), 4951-4963.

In this paper, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) through Foam Assisted Chemical Flooding (FACF) is studied. FACF implies the injection of a surfactant slug at residual oil to waterflood for oil mobilization followed by the injection of a foam drive for mobility control. The stability of the foam in reservoir conditions is therefore crucial for the success of the EOR through FACF. In this context, the behavior of two foams obtained with IOS2024 and Surfactant X respectively, in sea water and in the presence or absence of crude oil is characterized using a foam analyzer (FOAMSCAN™). By comparing the foam half-decay times (t1/2), that corresponds to the time that it takes for the initial foam volume to be reduced by 50% , the obtained results showed that Surfactant X was able to produce a much more stable foam compared to IOS2024 in the absence of crude oil. The presence of 5 vol % crude oil was able to reduce the t1/2 of Surfactant X foam from 738 to 62 min, that is, a factor 12 reduction.

TECLIS product: FOAMSCAN™ Foam analyzer

Key words: Enhanced Oil Recovery, Foam Assisted Chemical Flooding, reservoir conditions, surfactant, foam stability.

How can particulate matter improve the performance of CO2 foams for EOR? 

Reference: Lv, Q., Zhou, T., Zhang, X., Zuo, B., Dong, Z., & Zhang, J. (2020). Enhanced oil recovery using aqueous CO2 foam stabilized by particulate matter from coal combustion. Energy & Fuels, 34(3), 2880-2892.

Aqueous CO2 foams can be used for enhanced oil recovery, but their performance is limited by the instability of foam and low displacement efficiency. In this paper, the authors probe the properties of aqueous CO2 foams stabilized by PM (particulate matter) form coal combustion. Experiments with COS (camellia oleifera saponin) foams showed that PM increases the stability. At the scale of a CO2-water interface, surface tension and interfacial rheology measurements using an automatic drop tensiometer (TRACKER) were performed. The results show that the interfacial viscoelasticity is enhanced in the presence of PM which in turn improves the scrubbing capacity of bubble for the residual oil.

TECLIS product: TRACKER-H™ (up to 200°/200bar)

Key words: CO2 foams, enhanced oil recovery, particulate matter, surface tension, interfacial rheology, foam stability.

How to improve the stability of aqueous CO2 foams to control their mobility and enhance

CO2 - EOR performance?  

Reference: Lv, Q., Zhou, T., Zheng, R., Zhang, X., Dong, Z., Zhang, C., & Li, Z. (2020). Aqueous CO2 Foam Armored by Particulate Matter from Flue Gas for Mobility Control in Porous Media. Energy & Fuels, 34(11), 14464-14475.

In this paper, the authors integrate particulate matter (PM) from flue gas to aqueous CO2 foams used in enhanced oil recovery with to control their mobility and improve CO2 – enhanced oil recovery performance. To probe the effect of PM on aqueous CO2 foams, surface tension and interfacial rheology measurements have been performed at the CO2-liquid interface using an automatic drop tensiometer (TRACKERTM). The results showed that the interfacial adsorption and compression of PM formed a particle armor on the CO2-liquid interface, which improved foam film roughness and changed the interface to be more solid-like. As a result, the viscosity of aqueous CO2 foams was increased by 2-10 times thanks to the addition of 1.2 wt. % PM.

TECLIS product: TRACKER-H™ (up to 200°/200bar)

Key words: surface tension, interfacial rheology, aqueous CO2 foam, EOR, particulate matter, flue gas.

Is fly ash able to stabilize foams and seal fractured reservoirs? 

Reference: Wang, T., Fan, H., Yang, W., & Meng, Z. (2020). Stabilization mechanism of fly ash three-phase foam and its sealing capacity on fractured reservoirs. Fuel, 264, 116832.

In this paper, the authors characterize the ability of fly ash when mixed with AOS (an ionic surfactant) and a suspending agent to stabilize foams and to seal fractured reservoirs. A study at the scale of the liquid-air interfaces using an automatic drop tensiometer (TRACKERTM) showed first that fly ash can adsorb at liquid-air interfaces and, consequently, can decrease surface tension and improve the viscoelasticity of the bubble films. Then, experiments at the scale of the foam showed that liquid foams stabilized by fly ash particles exhibit excellent stability with a foam half-life of more than 7 days. Finally, the authors found that the optimized fly ash foam can plug the channeling path of fractures in reservoirs efficiently with a sealing effect 20 times more than that of the conventional foam without particles.

TECLIS product: TRACKER-H™ (up to 200°/200bar)

Key words: fly ash, stabilization mechanism, fractured reservoirs, surface tension, interfacial rheology.