Synergising nanoparticles and low salinity waterflooding for enhanced oil recovery: A state-of-the-art review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Molecular Liquids






School of Engineering


YUTP grant


Arain, A. H., Negash, B. M., Yekeen, N., Farooqi, A. S., & Alshareef, R. S. (2024). Synergising nanoparticles and low salinity waterflooding for enhanced oil recovery: A state-of-the-art review. Journal of Molecular Liquids, 400, article 124495.


The rising energy demand and the rapid decline in conventional oil recovery have pushed the petroleum industry to develop advanced oil recovery techniques. Despite the success of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, pursuing these sources has brought various challenges. Therefore, researchers have turned their attention to enhanced oil recovery techniques as a promising avenue, particularly for extracting residual oil from matured reservoirs following the exhaustion of primary recovery. Low salinity waterflooding has gained prominence for its potential effectiveness in augmenting oil recovery by enhancing the micro sweep efficiency of residual oil saturation. This study aimed to critically analyse an in-thorough review of the prospective of the low salinity waterflooding technique in enhancing oil recovery and elucidate the underlying mechanisms and factors affecting these mechanisms. The findings indicate that there is a lack of comprehensive studies on the practical implementation of low salinity waterflooding due to unclear mechanisms and inconsistent research results. Furthermore, the wettability alteration is considered the most widely acknowledged mechanism for low salinity waterflooding. However, despite its recognition, there remains a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding this phenomenon, which consequently raises doubts about the feasibility of implementing field-scale applications. Recently, there has been an increased emphasis on the prospective applications of nanotechnology in enhanced oil recovery. This study provides a thorough and contemporary review of recent studies on the impact of nanoparticles on oil recovery in low salinity waterflooding. The interaction between nanofluid and reservoir fluids leads to wettability alteration and reduced interfacial tension, improving the oil recovery. The experimental results demonstrate that the combination of low salinity waterflooding and nanoparticles produces a greater efficiency compared to the conventional low salinity waterflooding approach. The efficacy of nanofluid for oil recovery can be enhanced by comprehending the reservoir features, brine composition, and characteristics of the nanoparticles.



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