Mobility control of chemical EOR fluids using foam in highly fractured reservoirs
Highly fractured and vuggy oil reservoirs represent a challenge for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. The fractured networks provide flow paths several orders of magnitude greater than the rock matrix. Common enhanced oil recovery methods, including gases or low viscosity liquids, are used to channel through the high permeability fracture networks causing poor sweep efficiency and early breakthrough. The purpose of this research is to determine the feasibility of using foam in highly fractured reservoirs to produce oil-rich zones. Multiple surfactant formulations specifically tailored for a distinct oil type were analyzed by aqueous stability and foam stability tests. Several core floods were performed and targeted effects such as foam quality, injection rate, injection type, permeability, gas saturation, wettability, capillary pressure, diffusion, foam squeezing, oil flow, microemulsion flow and gravity segregation. Ultimately, foam was successfully propagated under various core geometries, initial conditions and injections methods. Consequently, fluids were able to divert to unswept matrix and improve the ultimate oil recovery.