Controlled surfactant adsorption and release within oil formations for enhanced oil recovery

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University of New Brunswick


The adsorption of surfactants onto solid surfaces is a major issue during chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Surfactant adsorption reduces the performance of the chemical injection slug and makes the process uneconomical. In this research, a new surfactant delivery system SDS:-CD inclusion complex, was evaluated as an approach to decrease surfactant adsorption. The effectiveness of this system on the surfactant adsorptive behavior was determined through static and dynamic adsorption tests. Likewise, the performance of this approach during EOR surfactant flooding was investigated through sandpack displacement tests under simulated oil reservoir conditions. The research outcomes indicate that this new technology is greatly efficient in reducing the adsorption of surfactant onto solid surfaces. Sandpack testing demonstrated that the surfactant is released at the oil saturation zones within the sandpack and higher incremental oil was recovered in comparison with the conventional EOR surfactant flooding. This technology has great potential for EOR applications.