Development of ASP formulations for reactive crude oil in high clay, high temperature reservoirs
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Surfactant formulations consisting of surfactant, alkali, polymer, and electrolyte have been developed using well defined screening processes established through experimentation in labs around the world. Due to recent advances in chemical enhanced oil recovery, surfactants can be used to extend the life of mature reservoirs with increasingly diverse conditions. High temperatures, complex geochemistry, or high clay content can provide significant challenges when developing formulations for chemical flooding. Through careful selection and screening of surfactants and chemicals, oil recovery of greater than 90% can be achieved in laboratory corefloods despite these difficulties. The objective of this research was to determine the ideal surfactant formulation using a sulfate surfactant for a reservoir with high clay content at 85 ºC. Advances in our laboratory have shown sulfate surfactants to be stable under specific conditions at elevated temperature. In addition, new methods of synthesizing surfactants have yielded a vast array of structures and iterations of novel surfactants to test for EOR applicability. Experiments contained within include surfactant screening both with and without the presence of crude oil and evaluation of polymer and microemulsion viscosity. From these results, a series of corefloods were performed in Berea and reservoir corefloods that yielded oil recovery of 90% and above with low surfactant retention.