Correlating wettability alteration with changes in gas permeability in gas condensate reservoirs
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Altering the wettability of reservoir rock using fluoro-chemical treatments has proved to be a viable solution to the condensate blocking problem in gas wells. Alteration of rock wettability to neutral-wet is the primary reason for improvement in gas and condensate relative permeabilities. Stability/compatibility test, drop tests and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis along with core flood results were used to characterize wettability changes. XPS tests, drop tests, and relative permeability measurements were conducted and correlated with each other. It is shown that XPS analysis and imbibition tests provide a quantitative measure of chemical adsorption and surface modification, but only a qualitative measure of the possible change in relative permeability. As such these simple analytical tools may be used as a screening tool. A positive but imperfect empirical correlation was obtained with results from core flood experiments. The varying concentration of fluorine observed on the rock surface was found to be directly correlated to the wettability change in the rock, which in turn is responsible for improving the deliverability of wells in gas condensate/volatile oil reservoirs. The method discussed in this thesis can be used to identify chemical treatments to change rock wettability and, therefore, relative permeability. This provides a simple, quick and inexpensive way to screen chemicals as wettability altering agents and relative permeability modifiers which saves time, cost and effort.