Numerical study of low salinity water flooding for enhancing oil recovery in sandstone reservoirs by coupling fluid flow equations with geochemical reactions of ion exchange and calcite dissolution

Document Type : Chemistry Article


1 Faculty of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Sahand University of Technology

2 Faculty of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran


Low salinity water (LSW) flooding is one of the emerging EOR methods which has recently attracted lots of attention. Wettability alteration from oil-wet to water-wet triggered by ion exchange between low salinity water and rock surface is one of the dominant mechanisms to increase oil recovery by LSW. This paper studied the performance of LSW flooding in a sandstone oil reservoir where wettability alteration was investigated by coupling two-phase flow equations and geochemical reactions between water and rock surface. A wettability alteration index based on the ion equivalent fraction of sodium was introduced that mainly consists of the effects of ion exchange and clay properties on oil/water relative permeability functions. Also, the effect of calcite mineral dissolution was investigated by the relevant geochemical reactions. Results showed that salinity difference between injected and formation water caused ion exchange processes between water and rock surface. Also, calcite dissolution enhanced ion exchange processes and thus led to wettability alteration to more water-wet conditions. Results showed that the presence of dissolved CO2 in water increased the rate of calcite dissolution. It was also found that the rate of ion exchange and calcite dissolution reactions decreases far from the injection well. The results of this study revealed that LSW flooding provided incremental oil recovery of 8% of the oil initially in place as compared to high salinity water flooding.


Main Subjects

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