Applicability of Nanoparticle Flooding Process in a Carbonate Rock of Kurdistan Region: Experimental Investigation of Interfacial Tension and Wettability
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has long proven to be a good method to mobilize the residual oil that is by passed and capillary trapped by secondary recovery methods. Chemical EOR methods enhance the microscopic and macroscopic efficiency, and ultimately the overall oil recovery is improved. However, the adsorption rate of the surfactant, low resistance to high temperature and salinity are some of the factors that would turn chemical flooding impractical and uneconomic in many cases. Lately, the application of nanotechnology in enhanced oil recovery has showcased some good and prolific results in terms of incremental oil recovery. In this study, the applicability of Nanoparticle flooding in carbonate rocks of Pilaspi formation was probed through a series of tests such as thin section analysis, x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, interfacial tension and contact angle measurements. The results showed that the composition of the carbonate rocks is predominantly calcite (CaCO3) with minor traces of quartz and dolomite. From the interfacial tension (IFT) measurements, it was figured out that the silica and alumina Nanofluids lowered the IFT by 27% and 42% with the light oil, and 43% and 49% with the heavy oil, respectively. The contact angle measurements revealed that the Alumina Nano-fluid at 0.25 wt. % reduced the contact angle on the surface of the light and heavy oil aged thin sections from 169◦ and 115◦ to nearly 119◦ and 78◦. On the other hand, the silica nanoparticle at 0.25 wt. % reduced the contact angles on both thin section types to around 129◦ and 80◦, respectively.
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