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Title: Productivity enhancement in a combined controlled salinity water and bio-surfactant injection projects
Author: Udoh, Tinuola H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 9903
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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In this study, a hybrid controlled salinity bio-surfactant (CSBS) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique has been developed through comprehensive laboratory experiments. Firstly, a laboratory core flooding rig was designed and built for the purpose of investigating dynamic Crude-Oil-Rock-Brine (CORB) interactions under varied temperatures. The rig was designed to follow the basic technique for carrying out core flooding experiments with capacity to handle core plugs of 2.54-15.24 cm length by 3.81 cm diameter with present maximum operating pressure and temperature being set at 1,500 psi and 70°C respectively. Secondly, experimental studies involving fluid-fluid and rock-fluid interactions were used to investigate the effect of bio-surfactants and varied brine composition and concentration on system relevant to hydrocarbon reservoirs. The results of these investigations were used to understand and interpret CORB interactions. Thirdly, displacement experiments were used to investigate effect of injection brine and bio-surfactants on dynamic CORB interactions. Following the displacement experiments, geochemical analyses of effluents of all the flooding experiments were used to interpret the effect of the injection fluids on the system. Most previous studies on bio-surfactant EOR applications were carried out with monovalent brine but the results of this study have demonstrated the importance of bio-surfactant investigation in fluids relevant to its application. The results of fluid-fluid interactions show that bio-surfactants have good stability in multi-component brine solutions and they are capable of reducing oil-brine IFT by a minimum of 87%. Also, the bio-surfactants modified the rock-fluid interactions via their interfacial adsorption thereby changing the surface wettability towards less oil-wetness. Furthermore, the results of displacement experiments show that controlled salinity brine and controlled salinity bio-surfactant brine can improve oil recovery in both secondary and tertiary applications with incremental recovery of 7.5-14.8% over high salinity flooding at 23°C and 70°C temperatures. Finally, from effluent analyses of each flooding experiments, this study has experimentally demonstrated electric double layer expansion associated with injection fluids salinity changes and effect of temperature on CORB interactions during flooding.
Supervisor: Akanji, Lateef ; Vinogradov, Jan Sponsor: Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Nigeria)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Surface active agents ; Oil fields ; Petroleum engineering ; Enhanced oil recovery