Polymeric surfactants as alternative to improve waterflooding oil recovery efficiency
Chemical formulations, including surfactants, polymers, alkalis, or their combinations, are widely used in different oil recovery processes to improve water injection performance. However, based on challenging profit margins in most mature waterfloods in Colombia and overseas, it is necessary to explore alternatives that could offer better performance and greater operational flexibility than the conventional technologies used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes.
Polymeric surfactants are compounds widely used in the manufacture of domestic and industrial cleaning, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food products. These compounds represent an interesting alternative as they can simultaneously increase the viscosity in water solution and reduce the interfacial tension (IFT) in the water/oil system, which would increase the efficiency of EOR processes.
This article shows a methodological evaluation through laboratory studies, numerical reservoir simulation, and conceptual engineering design to apply polymeric surfactants (Block Copolymer Polymeric Surfactants or BCPS) as additives to improve efficiency in water injection processes. Block copolymer type products of ethylene oxide (EO) - propylene oxide (PO) - ethylene oxide (EO) in aqueous solution were studied to determine their rheological and surfactant behavior under the operating conditions of a Colombian field.
In the conditions studied, these products allow to reduce the interfacial tension up to 2x10-1 mN/m values and also cause a shear-thinning rheological behavior following the power law at very low shear rates (0.1 s-1– 1 s-1), which corresponds to an increase up to four orders of magnitude in the capillary number (Nc). The IFT and the viscosity reached are maintained in wide ranges of salinity, BCPS concentration, and shear rates, making it a robust performance formulation.
In a model porous medium, BCPS tested have moderate adsorption, less than conventional surfactants but higher than HPAM polymers, in any way allowing a favorable wettability condition. Additionally, it was observed that they offer a resistance factor up to 16 times, causing greater displacement efficiency than water injection, allowing better sweeping in low permeability areas without injectivity restrictions.
Numerical simulation shows that it is possible to reach incremental production up to 238,5 TBO by injecting a continuous slug of 0.15 pore volumes of BCPS and HPAM, each with 2,000 ppm concentration and a flow rate of 2,500 BPD. As BCPS are simple handling and dilution products, these could be injected directly in water injection flow using a high precision dosing pump with high pressure and flow rate operational variables.
Castro-Garc a, R.-H., G.-A. Maya-Toro, J.-E. Sandoval-Muñoz, and L.-M. Cohen-Paternina, (2013). Colloidal dispersion gels (CDG) to improve volumetric sweep efficiency in waterflooding processes, Ciencia, Tecnolog a y Futuro, 5(3), 61-67. https://doi.org/10.29047/01225383.48
Castro, R. et al., (2014). Waterflooding in Colombia: Past, present, and future, in SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, (SPE 169459 SP). https://doi.org/10.2118/169459-SP
Maya, G. et al., (2015). Design and implementation of the first polymer flooding project in Colombia: Yarigu -Cantagallo Field, in SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, (SPE 177245). https://doi.org/10.2118/177245-MS
Dueñas, D., J. Jimenez, J. Zapata, C. Bertel, J. Leon, and others, (2018). A Multi-Well ASP Pilot in San Francisco: Design, Results and Challenges, in SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference, (SPE 190213 MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/190213-MS
Olajire, A. A., (2014). Review of ASP EOR (alkaline surfactant polymer enhanced oil recovery) technology in the petroleum industry: Prospects and challenges, Energy, 77, 963-982. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2014.09.005
Sheng, J. J., (2014). A comprehensive review of alkaline-surfactant-polymer (ASP) flooding, Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, 9(4), 471-489. https://doi.org/10.1002/apj.1824
Guo, H. et al., (2017). ASP flooding: theory and practice progress in China, Journal of Chemistry, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8509563
Ardila, A. F. and L. A. Arévalo, (2018). Evaluación técnica de la implementación de un surfactante polimérico en un campo colombiano mediante desplazamientos en medios porosos, M.S. thesis, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Raffa, P., A. A. Broekhuis, and F. Picchioni, (2016). Polymeric surfactants for enhanced oil recovery: A review, Journal of petroleum science and engineering, 145, 723-733. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2016.07.007
Gbadamosi, A. O., J. Kiwalabye, R. Junin, and A. Augustine, (2018). A review of gas enhanced oil recovery schemes used in the North Sea, Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, 8(4), 1373-1387. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13202-018-0451-6
Zhang, Y., N. R. Morrow, and others, (2006). Comparison of secondary and tertiary recovery with change in injection brine composition for crude-oil/sandstone combinations, in SPE/DOE symposium on improved oil recovery, (SPE 99757 MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/99757-MS
Gbadamosi, A. O., R. Junin, M. A. Manan, A. Agi, and A. S. Yusuff, (2019). An overview of chemical enhanced oil recovery: recent advances and prospects, International Nano Letters, 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40089-019-0272-8
Steinbrenner, U., (2010). US 7,842,650 B2, US Patents, Canada.
Agista, M. N., K. Guo, and Z. Yu, (2018). A state-of-the-art review of nanoparticles application in petroleum with a focus on enhanced oil recovery, Applied Sciences, 8(6), 871. https://doi.org/10.3390/app8060871
Negin, C., S. Ali, and Q. Xie, (2017). Most common surfactants employed in chemical enhanced oil recovery, Petroleum, 3(2), 197-211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petlm.2016.11.007
Kamal, M. S., A. S. Sultan, U. A. Al-Mubaiyedh, and I. A. Hussein, (2015). Review on polymer flooding: rheology, adsorption, stability, and field applications of various polymer systems, Polymer Reviews, 55(3), 491-530. https://doi.org/10.1080/15583724.2014.982821
Sheng, J. J., (2011). Alkaline Flooding, in Modern Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery, 389-460, Sheng, J. J., Ed. Boston: Gulf Professional Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-1-85617-745-0.00010-3
Sheng, J. J., (2015). Status of Alkaline-surfactant Flooding, Polym Sci., 1(1), 6. https://doi.org/10.4172/2471-9935.100006
Sheng, J. J., (2013). Alkaline-Polymer Flooding, in Enhanced oil recovery field case studies, 169-178, Sheng, J., Ed. Gulf Professional Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386545-8.00007-5
Yang, P. et al., (2019). Comprehensive Review of Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer (ASP)-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), in Proceedings of the International Field Exploration and Development Conference 2017, 858-872, Li, P. Y., B. X. Yuan, and W. L. C. Qaing-tai Huang, Eds. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-7560-5_79
Sheng, J. J., (2015). Status of surfactant EOR technology, Petroleum, 1(2), 97-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petlm.2015.07.003
Sheng, J. J., (2013). Comparison of the effects of wettability alteration and IFT reduction on oil recovery in carbonate reservoirs, Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, 8(1), 154-161. https://doi.org/10.1002/apj.1640
Walters, K., D. Jones, and others, (1989). The extensional viscosity behavior of polymeric liquids of use in EOR, in SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, (SPE 18497), 343-348. https://doi.org/10.2118/18497-MS
Be, M. et al., (2017). Comprehensive evaluation of the eor polymer viscoelastic phenomenon at low reynolds number, in SPE Europec featured at 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, (SPE 185827 MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/185827-MS.
Ghosh, P. and K. K. Mohanty, (2020). Laboratory treatment of HPAM polymers for injection in low permeability carbonate reservoirs, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 185, 106574. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2019.106574.
Gao, C., (2013). Viscosity of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide under shearing and heat, J Petrol Explor Prod Technol, 3, 203-206. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13202-013-0051-4
Pereira, K. A. B., K. L. N. P. Aguiar, P. F. Oliveira, B. M. Vicente, L. G. Pedroni, and C. R. E. Mansur, (2020). Synthesis of Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Partially Hydrolyzed Polyacrylamide, Polyethyleneimine, and Modified Clay, ACS Omega, 5(4759)-(4769), 4759-4769. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.9b02829
Samanta, A., K. Ojha, A. Sarkar, and A. Mandal, (2011). Surfactant and surfactant-polymer flooding for enhanced oil recovery, Advances in Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2(1), 13-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.aped.1925543820110201.608
Youyi, Z., Y. Zhang, N. Jialing, L. Weidong, and H. Qingfeng, (2012). The research progress in the alkali-free surfactant-polymer combination flooding technique, Petroleum exploration and development, 39(3), 371-376. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1876-3804(12)60053-6
Rai, K., R. T. Johns, M. Delshad, L. W. Lake, and A. Goudarzi, (2013). Oil-recovery predictions for surfactant polymer flooding, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 112, 341-350. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2013.11.028
Druetta, P. and F. Picchioni, (2018). Surfactant-Polymer Flooding: Influence of the Injection Scheme, Energy & fuels, 32(12), 12231-12246. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.8b02900
Levitt, D. and G. A. Pope, (2008). Selection and screening of polymers for enhanced-oil recovery, in SPE symposium on improved oil recovery, (SPE 113845). https://doi.org/10.2118/113845-MS
Audibert, A., J. Argillier, and others, (1995). Thermal stability of sulfonated polymers, in SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, (SPE 28953). https://doi.org/10.2118/28953-MS
Belhaj, A. F., K. A. Elraies, S. M. Mahmood, N. N. Zulkifli, S. Akbari, and O. S. Hussien, (2020). The effect of surfactant concentration, salinity, temperature, and pH on surfactant adsorption for chemical enhanced oil recovery: a review, Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, 10(1), 125-137. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13202-019-0685-y
Ganie, K., M. A. Manan, A. Ibrahim, and A. K. Idris, (2019). An Experimental Approach to Formulate Lignin-Based Surfactant for Enhanced Oil Recovery, International Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4120859
Xu, F., Q. Chen, M. Ma, Y. Wang, F. Yu, and J. Li, (2020). Displacement mechanism of polymeric surfactant in chemical cold flooding for heavy oil based on microscopic visualization experiments, Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 4(1), 77-85. https://doi.org/10.26804/ager.2020.01.07
Co, L. et al., (2015). Evaluation of functionalized polymeric surfactants for EOR applications in the Illinois basin, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 134, 167-175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2015.06.009
Wu, X., C. Zhong, X. Lian, and Y. Yang, (2018). Solution properties and aggregating structures for a fluorine-containing polymeric surfactant with a poly (ethylene oxide) macro-monomer, Royal Society open science, 5(8), 180610. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180610
American_Petroleum_Institute, Ed., (1990). Recommended Practices for Evaluation of Polymers Used in enhanced oil recovery operations. API RP 63. Washington DC, USA: American Petroleum Institute.
Zaitoun, A., N. Kohler, and others, (1987). The role of adsorption in polymer propagation through reservoir rocks, in SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, (SPE 16274). https://doi.org/10.2118/16274-MS
Serigh, R. S., M. Seheul, and T. Talashek, (2009). Injectivity Characteristics of EOR Polymers, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 12(5), 773-792. https://doi.org/10.2118/115142-PA
Attia, Y. A. and J. Rubio, (1975). Determination of very low concentrations of polyacrylamide and polyethyleneoxide flocculants by nephelometry, Br. Polym. J., 7, 135-138. https://doi.org/10.1002/pi.4980070302
Zhang, G. and R. S. Seright, (2013). Effect of Concentration on HPAM Retention in Porous Media, in SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, (SPE 166265 MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/166265-MS
Moradi-Araghi, A. and P. H. Doe, (1987). Hydrolysis and precipitation of polyacrylamides in hard brines at elevated temperatures, SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) Reserv. Eng.; (United States), 2:2. https://doi.org/10.2118/13033-PA
Zaitoun, A. and B. Potie, (1983). Limiting Conditions for the Use of Hydrolyzed Polyacrylamides in Brines Containing Divalent Ions, in SPE Oilfield and Geothermal Chemistry Symposium, 1-3 June, Denver, Colorado, (SPE)-(11785)-(MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/11785-MS
Muller, G., (1981). Thermal stability of high-molecular-weight polyacrylamide aqueous solutions, Polymer Bulletin, 5, 31-37.https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00255084
Nasr-El-Din, H. A., B. F. Hawkins, and K. A. Green, (1991). Viscosity Behavior of Alkaline, Surfactant, Polyacrylamide Solutions Used for Enhanced Oil Recovery, in SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, 20-22 February, Anaheim, California, (SPE)-(21028)-(MS). https://doi.org/10.2118/21028-MS
Fermino, T. Z., C. M. Awano, L. X. Moreno, D. R. Vollet, and F. S. de Vicente, (2018). Structure and thermal stability in hydrophobic Pluronic F127-modified silica aerogels, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 267, 242-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2018.03.039
Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.