The overall goals of this project are to:
University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (BPXA), Anchorage, AK
Several EOR methods currently used in Alaska include thermal methods, gas flooding, chemical methods for medium to light oils (surfactant and polymer methods), and microbial methods. However, in a typical reservoir more than half of the original oil still remains in place after completion of EOR operations. Recent studies indicate that changing wettability can improve recovery with no additional costs. Results from this work can help design more-efficient EOR floods. In a 10-20 billion-barrel reservoir, recovery of only an additional 10 percent of the residual oil would be significant.
Project highlights to date include the following:
The expected benefits of this project to Alaska include increased oil production from existing reservoirs and facilities, additional petroleum industry employment, and development of licensable technologies. The results from this work will be the first of their kind and directly useful to oilfield operators. There is strong evidence that changing the wettability conditions of ANS reservoirs by means of injected brine composition and salinity may be a viable, economical means to achieve significant improvements in EOR efficiency in Alaskan reservoirs.
In this project, new methods for a rapid, non-destructive wettability characterization will be developed. The new techniques will be used to experimentally ascertain the influence of wettability on recovery efficiency in representative Alaskan cores and demonstrate how influencing wettability through injection of fluids with different salinity and composition can be used to improve recovery efficiency.
The project, which began August 30, 2004, is in its third and final year. The project was scheduled to be completed September 2006, but the completion date has been extended 12 months to September 30, 2007.
This project was selected in response to DOE’s Arctic Energy Office solicitation DE-FC26-01NT41248, January 2004.
$168,813 (36% of total)
Agbalaka, C.C., Dandekar, A.Y., Patil, S.L., and Hemsath, J.R., “The Effect of Wettability on Oil Recovery: A Review,” currently undergoing review by the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, for possible publication in September 2007.