A 2-D simulation study on CO2ᅠsoluble surfactant for foam enhanced oil recovery

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This paper probes the transport of CO2ᅠsoluble surfactant for foaming in porous media. We numerically investigate the effect of surfactant partitioning between the aqueous phase and the gaseous phase on foam transport for subsurface applications when the surfactant is injected in the CO2ᅠphase. A 2-D reservoir simulation is developed to quantify the effect of surfactant partition coefficient on the displacement conformance and CO2ᅠsweep efficiency. A texture-implicit local-equilibrium foam model is embedded to describe how the partitioning of surfactant between water and CO2ᅠaffects the CO2ᅠfoam mobility control when surfactant is injected in the CO2ᅠphase. We conclude that when surfactant has approximately equal affinity to both the CO2ᅠand the water, the transport of surfactant is in line with the gas propagation and therefore the sweep efficiency is maximized. Too high affinity to water (small partition coefficient) results in surfactant retardation whereas too high affinity to CO2ᅠ(large partition coefficient) leads to weak foam and insufficient mobility reduction. This work sheds light upon the design of water-alternating-gas-plus-surfactant-in-gas (WAGᅠ+ᅠS) process to improve the conventional foam process with surfactant-alternating-gas (SAG) injection mode during which significant amount of surfactant could possibly drain down by gravity before CO2ᅠslugs catch up to generate foam in situ the reservoir.

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Zeng, Yongchao, Farajzadeh, Rouhi, Biswal, Sibani L., et al.. "A 2-D simulation study on CO2ᅠsoluble surfactant for foam enhanced oil recovery." Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 72, (2019) Elsevier: 133-143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiec.2018.12.013.

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