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Colloids Interfaces 2018, 2(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids2020020

Low Salinity Waterflooding in Carbonate Reservoirs: Review of Interfacial Mechanisms

1
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
2
Schlumberger Middle East, S.A., Schlumberger Dhahran Carbonate Research Center, Dhahran Techno Valley, P.O. Box 39011, Dammam 31942, Saudi Arabia
3
Chemical and Materials Engineering Group, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
4
School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloids and Interfaces in Oil Recovery)
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Abstract

Carbonate rock reservoirs comprise approximately 60% of the world’s oil and gas reserves. Complex flow mechanisms and strong adsorption of crude oil on carbonate formation surfaces can reduce hydrocarbon recovery of an oil-wet carbonate reservoir to as low as 10%. Low salinity waterflooding (LSW) has been confirmed as a promising technique to improve the oil recovery factor. However, the principal mechanism underpinning this recovery method is not fully understood, which poses a challenge toward designing the optimal salinity and ionic composition of any injection solution. In general, it is believed that there is more than one mechanism involved in LSW of carbonates; even though wettability alteration toward a more desirable state for oil to be recovered could be the main cause during LSW, how this alteration happens is still the subject of debate. This paper reviews different working conditions of LSW, previous studies, and field observations, alongside the proposed interfacial mechanisms which affect the colloidal interactions at oil–rock–brine interfaces. This paper provides a comprehensive review of studies on LSW in carbonate formation and further analyzes the latest achievements of LSW application in carbonates, which helps to better understand the challenges involved in these complicated multicomponent systems and potentially benefits the oil production industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: enhanced oil recovery; wettability alteration; recovery factor; surface charge; electric double layer; multicomponent ion exchange; fluid–fluid interactions enhanced oil recovery; wettability alteration; recovery factor; surface charge; electric double layer; multicomponent ion exchange; fluid–fluid 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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Derkani, M.H.; Fletcher, A.J.; Abdallah, W.; Sauerer, B.; Anderson, J.; Zhang, Z.J. Low Salinity Waterflooding in Carbonate Reservoirs: Review of Interfacial Mechanisms. Colloids Interfaces 2018, 2, 20.

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