Oil and gas will be the main part of our future energy sources, despite of emerging and expanding of renewable energies. Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) plays an important role in the future oil and gas industry as the conventional oil reserves will shrink. Heavy oil reservoirs will be the main target of EOR methods because of the high number of existing heavy oil reservoirs. Surfactants are the most efficient chemical EOR method for many unconventional reservoirs as previous studies suggest. The problem with this EOR method is that these projects have high costs and raised environmental concerns. Ionic liquids (ILs) are introduced as an alternative material to surfactants, however, the cost of their synthesis and purification processes are high. Besides, some of them are toxic and have non-biodegradable properties which limit their commercial usage. Recently, a new form of ILs produced and called Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs). The discovered material is more affordable and environmentally friendly and hence, it is considered to be an alternative material for existing conventional ILs. DESs are cheap, easy to produce, non-toxic, reusable, bio-degradable, and environmentally friendly. These materials consist of two or more cheap and safe components which will form a eutectic mixture. The melting point of the final mixture is lower than its components. In this study, the effectiveness of DESs in the EOR is analysed and evaluated to consider it as a new injection material for chemical EOR. This material has specific properties which improve the efficiency of EOR processes. Some of the favourable properties are stable emulsion between phases, interfacial tension (IFT) reduction, wettability change, recovery enhancement, and avoiding formation damage which is discussed and analysed in this paper. Moreover, the cost of the process is hugely reduced compared with other chemical injection methods. As the result, the main factor for the recovery enhancement is wettability alteration and the chance of viscosity. Besides, only malonic and acid-based DESs formed emulsions with oil, and the other types of DESs did not show emulsification properties. The IFT value increased for heavy oil reservoirs, while for reservoirs with light/medium oil IFT was reduced. Furthermore, DESs did not show formation damage which is a bonus point for this method. As the final result, Choline Chloride Glycerol showed the best recovery with an extra 30% to the original production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology