Using low salinity waterflooding to improve oil recovery in naturally fractured reservoirs

Faisal Awad Aljuboori, Jang Hyun Lee, Khaled A. Elraies, Karl D. Stephen

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Abstract

Low salinity waterflooding is an effective technique to accelerate and boost oil recovery. The impact of this technique has been investigated widely in laboratories for various scales and rock typing, most of which have demonstrated a potential improvement in oil recovery. This improvement has been attributed to several chemical and physical interactions that led to a change in the wettability to become more water-wet, as well as a reduction in the residual oil saturation. Meanwhile, it is rare to find a discussion in the literature about the efficiency of low salinity flooding in naturally fractured reservoirs. Therefore, in this work, we investigate the potential advantages of this method in fractured reservoirs using numerical simulations. A new approach to estimate the weighting factor using a tracer model has been proposed to determine the brine salinity and, hence, its properties in the mixing region. We have also used the relative permeability curves as a proxy for any physical and chemical mechanisms which are not represented explicitly in the model. The simulation outcomes highlighted the advantage of low salinity waterflooding in fractured reservoirs. An increment in oil recovery by 10.7% to 13% of Stock Tank Oil Initially In Place (STOIIP) was obtained using the dual-and single-porosity model, respectively. Therefore, the low salinity waterflooding technique represents a promising low-cost, effective method in fractured reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4211
JournalApplied Sciences
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Low salinity waterflooding
  • Naturally fractured reservoirs
  • Residual oil saturation reduction
  • Weighting factor
  • Wettability alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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