CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf <p>CT&amp;F- Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro (ISSN 0122-5383; e-ISSN 2382-4581) is an Open Access (under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License) peer-reviewed international journal, published biannually by Ecopetrol S.A through the Center for Research, Development, and Innovation – ICP.</p> <p><br>The level of its articles has allowed it to be in Category Q 3&nbsp; in&nbsp; SJR index. Moreover is indexed in famous indexing services like Thomson Reuters, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge, SciELO, Georef, Petroleum Abstract, Engineering Village Ei Compendex, Redalyc, Latindex, and Chemical Abstracts, among others.</p> Ecopetrol en-US CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro 0122-5383 The role of polar organic components in dynamic crude oil adsorption on sandstones and carbonates https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/251 <p>An appropriated wettability characterization is crucial for the successful implementation of waterflooding operations. Understanding how crude oil adsorption takes place on different mineral surfaces and how these processes impact reservoir wettability are essential aspects that can help unlock and produce large underground oil reserves.</p> <p>Polar organic components (POC) present in crude oil are surface-active molecules with high affinity towards mineral surfaces. POCs are quantified by the acid and base numbers (AN and BN) with units of mgKOH/g. The POC adsorption behavior is highly influenced by the type of minerals and brines present in the reservoir system.</p> <p>This study aims to shed light onto the most important features of oil adsorption on carbonates and sandstones mineral surfaces; particular attention is given to the role of acidic components. Therefore, outcrop sandstone and carbonate materials were used. The sandstone material contains various silicates, including quartz, Illite clay, and feldspars. The carbonate outcrop material came from the Stevns Klint quarry in Denmark and is considered a very pure calcium carbonate with minimum silicate impurities.</p> <p>Dynamic adsorption tests were performed at 50°C by injecting low asphaltene crude oils into core plugs, and AN and BN values of the effluent oil samples were measured and compared with the influent oil values. Furthermore, spontaneous imbibition (SI) tests were performed to assess the wettability impact of crude oil injection in oil flooded cores.</p> <p>The results showed that after crude oil injection, the cores became mix-wet. Confirmation of a reduction in capillary forces and a shift towards a less water-wet state was reported for both mineralogies, i.e., sandstones and carbonates. The acidic polar components had a substantial impact on carbonates wettability, while on sandstones, the experiments suggested that acidic polar components had a lower impact on wettability than that observed in the basic polar components.</p> Iván Darío Piñerez Torrijos Aleksandr Mamonov Skule Strand Tina Puntervold Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 5 16 10.29047/01225383.251 Effect of ionic strength in low salinity water injection processes https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/269 <p>Low salinity water injection has been frequently studied as an enhanced oil recovery process (EOR), mainly due to promising experimental results and because operational needs are not very different from those of the conventional water injection. However, there is no agreement on the mechanisms involved in increasing the displacement of crude oil, except for the effects of wettability changes. Water injection is the oil recovery method mostly used, and considering the characteristics of Colombian oil fields, this study analyses the effect of modifying the ionic composition of the waters involved in the process, starting from the concept of ionic strength (IS) in sandstone type rocks.</p> <p>The experimental plan for this research includes the evaluation of spontaneous imbibition (SI), contact angles, and displacement efficiencies in Berea core plugs. Interfacial tension and pH measurements were also carried out. The initial scenario consists in formation water (FW), with a total concentration of 9,800 ppm (TDS) (IS ~ 0.17) and a 27 °API crude oil. Magnesium and Calcium brine were also used in a first approach to assess the effect of the divalent ions.</p> <p>Displacement efficiency tests are performed using IS of 0.17, 0.08, and 0.05, as secondary and tertiary oil recovery and the recovery of oil increases in both scenarios. Spontaneous imbibition curves and contact angle measurements show variations as a function of the ionic strength, validating the displacement efficiencies.</p> <p>Interfacial tension and pH collected data evidence that fluid/fluid interactions occur due to ionic strength modifications. However, as per the conditions of this research, fluid/fluid mechanisms are not as determining as fluid/rock.</p> Gustavo Maya Toro Luisana Cardona Rojas Mayra Fernanda Rueda Pelayo Farid B. Cortes Correa Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 17 26 10.29047/01225383.269 Practical methodology for interwell tracer applications https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/261 <p>Tracer technology has been used in the oil industry to investigate the fluid flow behavior into the reservoir.&nbsp; Using this technology is possible to obtain relevant data from the reservoir such as remaining oil accumulations, estimate volumetric sweep efficiency, define reservoir heterogeneities, identify flow channeling, and determine residual oil saturation (Sor).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This technology has been one of the most useful tools for reservoir characterization for several decades. The tracer is injected in the injector well and then monitored in the producer wells through the tracer concentration measurements. Although many tracer studies have been documented for reservoir characterization, the available information and methodologies related to the design, implementation, and interpretation of tracer tests are limited or confidential.</p> <p>The goal of his article is to show a methodology for the design, execution, and interpretation of interwell tracer tests, which includes procedures for field implementation, sampling, and monitoring of these tests. Laboratory analysis using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography is described in the experimental evaluation of tracer tests. Additionally, for a better understanding of the technology, examples of laboratory and field cases are presented.</p> Romel Perez Carlos Espinosa Karem Pinto Mauricio Gutierrez Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 27 38 10.29047/01225383.261 CO2 EOR with in-situ CO2 capture, a Neuquina basin oxycombustion case study https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/250 <p>Given the growing interest in the capture and utilization of CO<sub>2</sub> in recent years, several technologies have emerged that seek to generate CO<sub>2</sub> in-situ at a low cost. There are promising developments, which allow capturing CO<sub>2</sub> with sufficient purity to be used for EOR. Oxycombustion has high potential in the region as this technology benefits from gas production with a high CO<sub>2</sub> content, which significantly reduces the cost of capture. Additionally, carbon dioxide separation techniques such as air capture, fuel cells, amines, and membranes are considered. Argentina has several fields, which produce gas with high CO<sub>2</sub> content benefiting Oxycombustion economics.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The paradigm change not only occurs in technology but also in the implementation schemes. The vast majority of the development of CO<sub>2 </sub>EOR are carried out in the USA with very low CO<sub>2</sub> costs and high availability. When considering the costs of CO<sub>2</sub> per ton (metric ton) that could be obtained in Argentina, and financial variables such as high discount rates, it is clear that the injection model has to be optimized for these conditions. In order to optimize profitability, it is crucial to improve the payout time and the usage of CO<sub>2</sub>. In one hand, smaller slugs lead to better CO<sub>2 </sub>utilization rates (oil produced/CO<sub>2</sub> injected) while larger slugs lead to faster oil production response. We observed that due to the high discount rates in the area, faster production response has a higher economic impact that sweep efficiency or breakthrough times. It seems to be better to sacrifice overall recovery factor in order to extract oil as soon as possible. Optimal injection schemes where found for different scenarios. Additionally, starting the project early is a key parameter for both technical and economic success.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another key technical difference is that the available CO<sub>2 </sub>volume for injection is constant due to the nature of these capture techniques. Unlike purchasing CO<sub>2</sub> from a pipeline, where gas can be purchased as needed, Oxycombustion (or other capture methods) produces a continuous stream limiting injection flexibility. All produced CO<sub>2</sub> must be injected as it is being produced and, until production gas reaches a CO<sub>2</sub> content high enough to assure MMP, CO<sub>2</sub> injection stream cannot exceed the maximum CO<sub>2</sub> capture capacity.</p> <p>CO<sub>2 </sub>EOR has significant advantages over Chemical EOR due to its significant recovery factors and early response. Additionally, this technology applies to reservoirs of low permeability and / or high temperature where the polymer can have problems of injectivity or degradation.&nbsp;</p> Gonzalo Gallo Raul Puliti Rodolfo Torres Eleonora Erdmann Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 39 47 10.29047/01225383.250 Downhole heating and hybrid cyclic steam methods: evaluating technologies from the laboratory to the field https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/257 <p>The development of heavy oil reservoirs under steam injection methods is facing multiple challenges due to the volatility of oil markets, energy efficiency, and new and stricter environmental regulations. This study aims to summarize the advances of a Research and Development (R&amp;D) program established by Ecopetrol in 2018 to identify potential opportunities to improve the recovery performance of steam injection projects in heavy<br>oil reservoirs in the Middle Valley Magdalena Basin (VMM) of Colombia.<br>This paper summarizes an approach used to evaluate downhole heating and hybrid steam injection technologies assisted by basic benefit-cost ratios and energy and environmental indexes.<br>Specifically, the methodology is described for the identification of optimum development plan scenarios for heavy oil wells. This study also summarizes recent advances in laboratory studies for the evaluation of hybrid steam flooding technologies (steam plus flue gas and solvents) and provides updates on the hybrid cyclic<br>steam-foam pilot carried out in two VMM wells.<br>The proposed approach represents a fast screening method that has proven to be valuable in supporting management decision-making to allocate resources for laboratory and engineering studies to evaluate thermal enhanced oil recovery (tEOR) technologies in Colombia. The proposed methodology has also contributed to reducing the implementation cycle of tEOR technologies following the reservoir analog description of<br>reserve analysis. The latter was validated with the successful pilot results of the hybrid steam injection with foams implemented in July 2019.</p> Romel Perez Hugo Garcia Duarte Laura Osma Carolina Barbosa Goldstein Luis Eduardo Garcia Rodríguez Jesus Alberto Botett Cervantes Hector Arnoldo Rodriguez Prada Eduardo Manrique Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 49 60 10.29047/01225383.257 Downhole electric heating of heavy-oil wells https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/273 <p>Downhole electric heating has historically been unreliable or limited to short, often vertical, well sections. Technology improvements over the past several years now allow for reliable, long length, relatively high-powered, downhole electric heating suitable for extended-reach horizontal wells. The application of this downhole electric heating technology in a horizontal cold-producing heavy oil well in Alberta, Canada is presented in this paper.</p> <p>The field case demonstrates the benefits and efficacy of applying downhole electric heating, especially if it is applied early in the production life of the well. Early production data showed 4X-6X higher oil rates from the heated well than from a cold-producing benchmark well in the same reservoir. In fact, after a few weeks of operation, it was no longer possible to operate the benchmark well in pure cold-production mode as it watered out, whereas the heated well has been producing for twenty (20) months without any increase in water rate. The energy ratio, defined as the heating value of the incremental produced oil to the injected heat, is over 20.0, resulting in a carbon-dioxide footprint of less than 40 kgCO<sub>2</sub>/bbl, which is lower than the greenhouse gas intensity of the average crude oil consumed in the US.</p> <p>A numerical simulation model that includes reactions that account for the foamy nature of the produced oil and the downhole injection of heat, has been developed and calibrated against field data.&nbsp; The model can be used to prescribe the range of optimal reservoir and fluid properties to select the most promising targets (fields, wells) for downhole electric heating as a production optimization method. The same model can also be used during the execution of the project to explore optimal operating conditions and operating procedures.</p> <p>Downhole electric heating in long horizontal wells is now a commercially available technology that can be reliably applied as a production optimization recovery scheme in heavy oil reservoirs. Understanding the optimum reservoir conditions where the application of downhole electric heating maximizes economic benefits will assist in identifying areas of opportunity to meaningfully increase reserves and production in heavy oil reservoirs around the world.</p> John Karanikas Guillermo Pastor Scott Penny Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 61 72 10.29047/01225383.273 Heavy Oil and High-Temperature Polymer EOR Applications https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/258 <p>Polymer flooding represents the most common chemical enhanced oil recovery (CEOR) method used at commercial scale. In this process, the polymeric solutions (generally hydrolyzed polyacrylamide - HPAM) are injected to improve the oil/water mobility ratio (M). However, due to mechanical, chemical, bio, and thermal degradation, polymer viscosity losses can occur, causing a negative impact on oil sweep efficiency. In this case, biopolymers seem to be promising candidates in EOR applications with special structural characteristics, which result in excellent stability in harsh environments with high temperatures, ionic forces, and shear stresses. This paper presents the laboratory evaluation of Scleroglucan (SG) and a commercial sulfonated polyacrylamide (ATBS) in synthetic brine, representative of a Colombian heavy-oil field. The effects of ionic strength, pH, temperature, and shear degradation effects on polymer viscosity were also evaluated. For SG, the results reflect its tolerance to high salinities (0-5%wt), ionic strengths (Na<sup>+</sup>, K<sup>+</sup>, Ca<sup>2+</sup>, and Mg<sup>2+</sup>), shear rates (0-300,000 s<sup>-1</sup>), temperatures (30, 50, 80 and 100 °C), and pH variations (3-10). The biopolymer was capable of preserving its viscous properties and stability after of the effect of these variables. Finally, the target viscosity (set as 17 cp) was achieved with a lower concentration (2.7 times) than the ATBS polymer tested.</p> Rubén Hernán Castro García Sebastián Llanos Gallo Jenny Liseth Rodriguez Ardila Henderson Iván Quintero Pérez Eduardo José Manrique Ventura Jose Francisco Zapata Arango Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 73 83 10.29047/01225383.258 Polymeric surfactants as alternative to improve waterflooding oil recovery efficiency https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/272 <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>In the conditions studied, these products allow to reduce the interfacial tension up to 2x10<sup>-1</sup> mN/m values and also cause a shear-thinning rheological behavior following the power law at very low shear rates (0.1 s<sup>-1</sup>– 1 s<sup>-1</sup>), 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.</p> <p>&nbsp;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.</p> <p>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 &nbsp;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.</p> Henderson Ivan Quintero Perez Miguel José Rondon Anton Jaime Alberto Jimenez John Hervin Bermudez Julian Alfredo Gonzalez Jenny Liset Rodrigues Carlos Espinosa Leon Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 99 113 10.29047/01225383.272 CFD simulation of HPAM EOR solutions mechanical degradation by restrictions in turbulent flow https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/255 <p>Polymer flooding is a widely used enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology. The purpose of the polymer is to increase water viscosity to improve reservoir sweep efficiency. However, mechanical elements of the polymer injection facilities may impact the viscosity of the polymer negatively, decreasing it drastically. Mechanical degradation of the polymer occurs in case of flow restrictions with abrupt diameter changes in valves and control systems. Such flow restrictions may induce mechanical stresses along the polymer chain, which can result in its rupture. In this research, physical experiments and numerical simulations using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) were used to propose a model for estimating the mechanical degradation for the flow of polymer solutions. This technique involves the calculation of velocity gradients, pressure drawdown, and polymer degradation of the fluid through geometry restriction. The simulations were validated through polymer injection experiments. The results show that with the greater volumetric flow and lower effective diameters, there is more mechanical degradation due to polymer shearing; nonetheless, this depends on the rheology properties inherent in each polymer in an aqueous solution.</p> <p>This method is suitable to estimate the mechanical degradation of the polymer solution in flooding facilities and accessories. Further, the results obtained could enhance the use of the polymer, calculating its actual mechanical degradation, minimizing it, or using it to support the development of new accessories.</p> Julia Herrera Luis Prada Gustavo Maya Jose Luis Gomez Ruben Castro Henderson Quintero Robinson Diaz Eduar Perez Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 115 129 10.29047/01225383.255 Experimental evaluation of the mechanical degradation of HPAM polymeric solutions used in Enhanced Oil Recovery https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/275 <p>With the design of experiments (DoE), this study analyses the influence of physical (capillary diameter and pressure drop) and chemical variables (salinity, polymer concentration, and molecular weight) on the mechanical degradation of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide-type polymer solutions (HPAM) used in enhanced oil recovery processes. Initially, with the help of a fractional factorial design (2<sup>k-p</sup>), the variables with the most significant influence on the polymer's mechanical degradation were found. The experimental results of the screening demonstrate that the factors that statistically influence the mechanical degradation are the molecular weight, the diameter of the capillary, and the pressure differential. Subsequently, a regression model was developed to estimate the degradation percentages of HPAM polymer solutions as a function of the significant factors influencing the mechanical degradation of polymer solutions. This model had a 97.85% fit for the predicted values under the experimental conditions. Likewise, through the optimization developed by the Box Behnken response surface methodology, it was determined that the pressure differential was the most influential factor. This variable was followed by the capillary diameter, where less than 50% degradation rates are obtained with low polymer molecular weight (6.5 MDa), pressure differentials less than 500 psi, and diameters of the capillary greater than 0.125 inches.</p> Gustavo Maya Toro Julia Jineth Herrera Quintero Ruben Hernan Castro Garcia Henderson Ivan Quintero Pérez Dalje Sunith Barbosa Trillos Luis Prada Laura Maldonado Manrique Eduar Pérez Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 131 141 10.29047/01225383.275 Use of nanoparticles to improve thermochemical resistance of synthetic polymer to enhanced oil recovery applications: a review https://ctyf.journal.ecopetrol.com.co/index.php/ctyf/article/view/259 <p>Partially Hydrolyzed Polyacrylamide (HPAM) is the polymer most used in chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR) processes and it has been implemented in several field projects worldwide. Polymer injection has shown to be an effective EOR process. However, it has not been implemented massively due to HPAM polymer's limitations, mostly related to thermal and chemical degradation caused by exposure at high temperatures and salinities (HTHS). As an alternative, a new generation of chemically stable monomers to improve the properties of HPAM has been assessed at laboratory and field conditions. However, the use of enhanced polymers is limited due to its larger molecular size, large-scale production, and higher costs.</p> <p>One of the alternatives proposed in the last decade to improve polymer properties is the use of nanoparticles, which due to their ultra-small size, large surface area, and highly reactive capacity, can contribute to reduce or avoid the degrading processes of HPAM polymers. Nanoparticles (NPs) can be integrated with the polymer in several ways, it being worth to highlight mixing with the polymer in aqueous solution or inclusion by grafting or chemical functionalization on the nanoparticle surface. This review focuses on hybrid nanomaterials based on SiO<sub>2</sub> NPs and synthetic polymers with great EOR potential. The synthesis process, characterization, and the main properties for application in EOR processes, were reviewed and analyzed.</p> <p>Nanohybrids based on polymers and silica nanoparticles show promising results in improving viscosity and thermal stability compared to the HPAM polymer precursor. Furthermore, based on recent findings, there are great opportunities to implement polymer nanofluids in cEOR projects. This approach could be of value to optimize the technical-economic feasibility of projects by reducing the polymer concentration of using reasonable amounts of nanoparticles. However, more significant efforts are required to understand the impact of nanoparticle concentrations and injection rates to support the upscaling of this cEOR technology.</p> Henderson Ivan Quintero Perez Maria Carolina Ruiz Cañas Ruben Hernan Castro Garcia Arnold Rafael Romero Bohorquez Copyright (c) 2020 CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología y Futuro https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2020-12-17 2020-12-17 10 2 85 97 10.29047/01225383.259