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Energies 2018, 11(11), 3020; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113020

Brine-Dependent Recovery Processes in Carbonate and Sandstone Petroleum Reservoirs: Review of Laboratory-Field Studies, Interfacial Mechanisms and Modeling Attempts

1
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Computer Modelling Group Ltd., Calgary, AB T2L 2M1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhanced Oil Recovery)
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Abstract

Brine-dependent recovery, which involves injected water ionic composition and strength, has seen much global research efforts in the past two decades because of its benefits over other oil recovery methods. Several studies, ranging from lab coreflood experiments to field trials, indicate the potential of recovering additional oil in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. Sandstone and carbonate rocks are composed of completely different minerals, with varying degree of complexity and heterogeneity, but wettability alteration has been widely considered as the consequence rather than the cause of brine-dependent recovery. However, the probable cause appears to be as a result of the combination of several proposed mechanisms that relate the wettability changes to the improved recovery. This paper provides a comprehensive review on laboratory and field observations, descriptions of underlying mechanisms and their validity, the complexity of the oil-brine-rock interactions, modeling works, and comparison between sandstone and carbonate rocks. The improvement in oil recovery varies depending on brine content (connate and injected), rock mineralogy, oil type and structure, and temperature. The brine ionic strength and composition modification are the two major frontlines that have been well-exploited, while further areas of investigation are highlighted to speed up the interpretation and prediction of the process efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart waterflooding; low salinity waterflooding; potential determining ions; interfacial mechanisms; sandstone and carbonate rocks; wettability alteration; oil-brine-rock interactions smart waterflooding; low salinity waterflooding; potential determining ions; interfacial mechanisms; sandstone and carbonate rocks; wettability alteration; oil-brine-rock interactions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Awolayo, A.N.; Sarma, H.K.; Nghiem, L.X. Brine-Dependent Recovery Processes in Carbonate and Sandstone Petroleum Reservoirs: Review of Laboratory-Field Studies, Interfacial Mechanisms and Modeling Attempts. Energies 2018, 11, 3020.

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