Crude Oil Recovery

A special issue of Colloids and Interfaces (ISSN 2504-5377).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 7004

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Physical Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: emulsions and foams; thin liquid films; interfacial and bulk rheology; heavy crude oil; petroleum emulsions; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of thin film; self-assembly
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For more than a century, crude oil has satisfied a large fraction of the world’s energy consumption. Even though humankind is currently focused on the transition to renewable and more environmentally sustainable alternatives, there remains an expectation that the demand for crude oil will increase in the near future and that it will continue to play a significant role in decades to come. With increased oil demand and the depletion of conventional oil resources, the last few decades were characterized by a boom of new technologies that allowed for the recovery of previously inaccessible oil resources. At the same time, under more stringent environmental regulations and targets, the petroleum industry is advancing new technologies to reduce environmental impacts like greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. In many respects, this technological progress has been based on research and knowledge related to colloid and interface science. For this Special Issue, we invite contributions related to crude oil extraction, processing, and transportation, as well as related environmental risks/impacts and mitigation methods.

Dr. Plamen Tchoukov
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • crude oil composition and properties
  • phase behaviour
  • rheology
  • multiphase flow
  • asphaltene aggregation
  • petroleum emulsions and stabilization mechanisms
  • interfacial phenomena
  • enhanced oil recovery
  • heavy oil
  • fouling
  • environmental aspect and risk/impact mitigation
  • oil spills

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 5203 KiB  
Article
Oil/Brine Screening for Improved Fluid/Fluid Interactions during Low-Salinity Water Flooding
by Jose Villero-Mandon, Peyman Pourafshary and Masoud Riazi
Colloids Interfaces 2024, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids8020023 - 01 Apr 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Low-salinity water flooding/smart water flooding (LSWF/SWF) are used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) because of the improved extraction efficiency. These methods are more environmentally friendly and in many scenarios more economical for oil recovery. They are proven to increase recovery factors (RFs) by [...] Read more.
Low-salinity water flooding/smart water flooding (LSWF/SWF) are used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) because of the improved extraction efficiency. These methods are more environmentally friendly and in many scenarios more economical for oil recovery. They are proven to increase recovery factors (RFs) by between 6 and 20%, making LSWF/SWF technologies that should be further evaluated to replace conventional water flooding or other EOR methods. Fluid/fluid interaction improvements include interfacial tension (IFT) reduction, viscoelastic behavior (elastic properties modification), and microemulsion generation, which could complement the main mechanisms, such as wettability alteration. In this research, we evaluate the importance of fluid/fluid mechanisms during LSWF/SWF operations. Our study showed that a substantial decrease in IFT occurs when the oil asphaltene content is in the range of 0% to 3 wt.%. An IFT reduction was observed at low salinity (0–10,000 ppm) and a specific oil composition condition. Optimal IFT occurs at higher divalent ion concentrations when oil has low asphaltene content. For the oil with high asphaltene content, the sulfates concentration controls the IFT alteration. At high asphaltene concentrations, the formation of micro-dispersion is not effective to recover oil, and only a 5% recovery factor improvement was observed. The presence of asphaltene at the oil/low-salinity brine interface increases the energy required to disrupt it, inducing significant changes in the elastic moduli. In cases of low asphaltene content, the storage modulus demonstrates optimal performance at higher divalent concentrations. Conversely, at high asphaltene concentrations, the dominant factors to control the interface are paraffin content and temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crude Oil Recovery)
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22 pages, 3813 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing the Rheology of Methane Foam for Gas Mobility Control in High-Temperature, Proppant-Fractured Reservoirs
by Aashish T. Parekh, Amit Katiyar and Quoc P. Nguyen
Colloids Interfaces 2024, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids8010013 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
Gas-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) through huff-n-puff (HnP) is an important method of recovering oil from fracture-stimulated reservoirs. HnP productivity is hampered by fracture channeling, leading to early gas breakthroughs and gas losses. To mitigate these issues, foam-generating surfactants have been developed as a [...] Read more.
Gas-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) through huff-n-puff (HnP) is an important method of recovering oil from fracture-stimulated reservoirs. HnP productivity is hampered by fracture channeling, leading to early gas breakthroughs and gas losses. To mitigate these issues, foam-generating surfactants have been developed as a method of reducing injected gas phase mobility and increasing oil recovery. This work investigates foam generation and propagation by a proprietary surfactant blend in high-temperature, high-pressure, high-permeability, and high-shear conditions that simulate the environment of a proppant-packed fracture. Bulk foam tests confirmed the aqueous stability and foaming viability of the surfactant at the proposed conditions. Through several series of floods co-injecting methane gas and the surfactant solution through a proppant pack at residual oil saturation, the effects of several injection parameters on apparent foam viscosity were investigated. The foam exhibited an exceptionally high transition foam quality (>95%) and strong shear-thinning behavior. The foam viscosity also linearly decreased with increasing pressure. Another flood series conducted in an oil-free proppant pack showed that swelling of residual oil had no effect on the apparent foam viscosity and was not the reason for the inversely linear pressure dependency. An additional flood series with nitrogen as the injection gas was completed to see if the hydrophobic attraction between the methane and surfactant tail was responsible for the observed pressure trend, but the trend persisted even with nitrogen. In a previous study, the dependence of foam viscosity on pressure was found to be much weaker with a different foaming surfactant under similar conditions. Thus, a better understanding of this important phenomenon requires additional tests with a focus on the effect of pressure on interfacial surfactant adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crude Oil Recovery)
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15 pages, 4006 KiB  
Article
Foam Stabilization by Surfactant/SiO2 Composite Nanofluids
by Fariza Amankeldi, Miras Issakhov, Peyman Pourafshary, Zhanar Ospanova, Maratbek Gabdullin and Reinhard Miller
Colloids Interfaces 2023, 7(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids7030057 - 07 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
This paper deals with the potential of aggregates of surfactant and SiO2 nanoparticles as foam stabilizers for practical applications. The effects of different chain lengths and concentrations of the cationic surfactant CnTAB on the performance of CnTAB–SiO2 [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the potential of aggregates of surfactant and SiO2 nanoparticles as foam stabilizers for practical applications. The effects of different chain lengths and concentrations of the cationic surfactant CnTAB on the performance of CnTAB–SiO2 nanofluids are examined to gain a comprehensive understanding of their ability to stabilize foam. The results indicate enhanced foam stability in the presence of SiO2 nanoparticles. These findings help to better understand foam stabilization and its potential in various industrial applications such as enhanced oil recovery and foam-based separation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crude Oil Recovery)
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15 pages, 5026 KiB  
Article
Impact of Paraffin Composition on the Interactions between Waxes, Asphaltenes, and Paraffin Inhibitors in a Light Crude Oil
by Oualid M'barki, John Clements, Luis Salazar, James Machac, Jr. and Quoc P. Nguyen
Colloids Interfaces 2023, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids7010013 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3072
Abstract
The effect of wax molecular weight distribution on the efficacy of two alpha olefin-maleic anhydride paraffin inhibitors (PIs) having different densities of alkyl side-chains were examined in light West Texas crude in the absence and presence of asphaltenes. Interpretation of the data was [...] Read more.
The effect of wax molecular weight distribution on the efficacy of two alpha olefin-maleic anhydride paraffin inhibitors (PIs) having different densities of alkyl side-chains were examined in light West Texas crude in the absence and presence of asphaltenes. Interpretation of the data was aided by cross-polarization microscopy. Primary differences in wax crystal morphology appear to be driven by the composition of the wax, with secondary differences being associated with the choice of PI. In the absence of asphaltenes, the effect of wax composition on PI performance (i.e., reducing oil viscosity and wax appearance temperature) is greater for the PI having the higher chain density, with the one having the lower chain density being generally more effective regardless of the wax composition. These differences are diminished in the presence of asphaltenes such that the PI having the higher chain density is somewhat more effective. Trends in both morphology and viscosity suggest a steric effect associated with wax composition that is lessened on interaction of the PIs with asphaltenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crude Oil Recovery)
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