Chelating agent solutions have been proposed as effective fluids for enhancing oil production. Different recovery mechanisms are reported for increasing the oil recovery during chelating agent flooding. The aims of this work are to identify the possible recovery mechanisms during chelating agent flooding in carbonate reservoirs and to investigate the in situ CO2 generation as a potential recovery mechanism during the injection of chelating agent solutions into carbonate reservoirs. The contribution of CO2 on enhancing the oil recovery was determined using experimental measurements and analytical calculations. Several measurements were conducted to study the contribution of each mechanism on enhancing the oil recovery. Coreflooding tests, zeta potential measurements, CO2 generation, and interfacial tension (IFT) experiments were carried out. Also, analytical models were utilized to determine the impact of the injected chemicals on reducing the capillary pressure and improving the flow conditions. In flooding tests, two chemicals (EDTA and GLDA) were injected in a sequential mode and the chemical concentration was increased gradually. In addition, a comparative study was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of EDTA and GLDA solutions to enhance oil recovery. Several parameters were investigated in this paper including incremental oil recovery, in situ CO2 generation, hydrocarbon swelling, IFT, wettability alteration, permeability enhancement, productivity index, and chemical cost. The obtained results show that GLDA chelating agent has better performance than EDTA solutions for enhancing the oil recovery when the same concentrations are used. Also, the in situ generation of CO2 shows a significant impact on improving the oil recovery from carbonate reservoirs during chelating agent flooding. In the literature, the reported recovery mechanisms of using chelating agents are the IFT reduction, wettability alteration, and rock dissolution. Based on this work, injecting chelating agent solutions at low pH can lead to involve additional recovery mechanisms due to the CO2 generation, the additional mechanisms are hydrocarbon swelling, viscosity and density reduction, and oil vaporization.
Oil Recovery Mechanisms During Sequential Injection of Chelating Agent Solutions Into Carbonate Rocks
Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received December 31, 2018; final manuscript received July 3, 2019; published online July 23, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Daoyong (Tony) Yang.
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Hassan, A. M., and Al-Hashim, H. S. (July 23, 2019). "Oil Recovery Mechanisms During Sequential Injection of Chelating Agent Solutions Into Carbonate Rocks." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. January 2020; 142(1): 012903. doi: https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4044226
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