Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
School of Engineering
© 2020, The Author(s). Surfactant flooding is a chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR) process wherein anionic, cationic, non-ionic, and amphoteric surfactants are injected into oil reservoirs to produce more hydrocarbon. These chemical and industrial agents might cause some economic and environmental challenges. Recently, injection of natural surfactants, as new environmentally friendly EOR agents, for improving oil recovery has been proposed by researchers. In this study, the extract of Vitagnus, a natural surfactant, was used to minimize the interfacial tension (IFT) and alter the rock wettability towards the strong water-wet system, thereby improving the oil recovery from the carbonate rock The conductivity, pH, and turbidity measurements were undertaken to identify the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of the surfactant solutions prepared by mixing 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 ppm of the Vitagnus extract and distilled water. The obtained experimental results reveal that the optimum CMC value of the used surfactant was 3000 ppm. At this CMC value, the IFT reduced from 29.5 to 5.28 mN/m, and the contact angle of the oil droplet on the surface of the carbonate rock decreased from 114° to 29°. Accordingly, during the tertiary process, oil recovery was improved from 44% to 54.6% OOIP (original oil in place) by injecting 2.25 PVs of the VIT3000 surfactant containing 3000 ppm of the plant extract.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.