Novel nano and bio-based surfactant formulation for hybrid enhanced oil recovery technologies

Qisheng Ma, Wenjie Xia, Yongchun Tang, Mohamed Haroun, Md Motiur Rahman, Muhammad Gibrata, Lamia Rouis, Yanfidra Djanuar, Magdi Abdelhadi Eldali, Aneesa Ijaz Rabbani, Jassim Abubacker Ponnambathayil, Abhijith Suboyin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    This investigation presents laboratory and field deployment results that demonstrate the potential candidacy utilizing Nano and bio-technologies to create superior chemicals for novel applications to increase oil recovery from both onshore and offshore reservoirs. Nano-technology is gaining momentum as a tool to improve performance in multiple industries, and has shown significant potential to enhance hydrocarbon production. The laboratory analysis and specifically designed coreflood results indicate there are beneficial interactions at liquid-nano solid interface that increase oil mobility. This will increase the surface activity of chemical surfactants and thereby make them the dominant agents to mobilize and recover oil from oil-bearing reservoirs. Advances in biotechnology offer another rich resource of knowledge for surface active materials that are renewable and more environmental-friendly. In addition, our studies also demonstrate that bio-surfactants are well-suited to provide superior performances in enhancing oil recovery. Nano-particles and biosurfactants may be included with synthetic surfactants to create novel and more efficient surface active agents for enhanced oil recovery. These formulations can promote better flow back of the injected stimulation fluids and additional mobilization to extract more oil from the matrix and micro-fractures. Laboratory experiments demonstrate that the specialized surfactant formulations created, interact with mixed or oil-wet low permeability formations to produce additional oil. Furthermore, this investigation also compares the total production on a candidate field with respect to typical water flood and the novel formulated surfactant approach. For each surfactant treatment, the overall designed injected fluid volume is 1500 m3 (~ 396,000 gallons) with 4 gpt (gallon per thousand unit) of surfactant concentration. Results indicate improved oil production with longer exposure time of the key surfactants within the reservoir. Enhanced surface wetting and super-low interfacial tension (IFT) at lower chemical concentrations are recognized to be the main mechanisms. The novel surfactant also shows stronger sustainability and endurance in keeping rock surface wettability over traditional surfactant system up to 5 times for an 8 PV wash. Furthermore, this can assist to identify and initiate the optimization of the identified mechanisms for potential applications within other compatible reservoirs. A number of successful field applications of EOR with special formulated nano and bio-based surfactant formulation are discussed in this paper. This unique study bridges the gap between the field realized results and lab optimization to enhance feasibility as a function of time and cost.

    Original languageBritish English
    Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2021, ATCE 2021
    PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
    ISBN (Electronic)9781613997864
    StatePublished - 2021
    EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2021, ATCE 2021 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Duration: 21 Sep 202123 Sep 2021

    Publication series

    NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
    ISSN (Electronic)2638-6712


    ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2021, ATCE 2021
    Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


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