The novel use of deep eutectic solvents for enhancing heavy oil recovery

A. Mohsenzadeh, Y. Al-Wahaibi, B. Jibril, R. Al-Hajri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The World has abundant deposits of heavy crude oils. In the past, production of such heavy oil was disfavored due to discouraging economic feasibility and availability of lighter oils. Increasing demand and dwindling supply of crude oil have spurred efforts towards enhancing heavy oil recovery. Recently, applications of ionic liquids (ILs) for heavy oil recovery and catalytic upgrading have been reported. However, ILs are generally considered too expensive for industrial applications. Moreover, certain types of ILs are non-biodegradable and toxic. An alternative class of ILs called Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) have recently been discovered and investigated upon. A DES generally composed of two or more components that are capable of self-association, to form eutectic mixture with a melting point lower than that of each individual component. DESs are non-toxic, biodegradable, recyclable, non-flammable, environmentally friendly and cheap. Therefore, DESs have found application in fields like extraction/separation, solvent development/reaction medium, hydrometallurgy, etc. In this study, and for the first time to our knowledge, the effectiveness of two different types of DESs, Choline Chloride:Glycerol(1:2) and Choline Chloride:Urea(1:2), in enhancing heavy oil recovery is thoroughly investigated. Effect of the two DESs diluted with water on emulsification, altering wettability, spontaneous imbibitions, surface and interfacial tensions and tertiary residual heavy oil saturation reduction are studied experimentally at different temperatures. Heavy oil with 16 °API and formation brine from one of the Omani heavy oil fields was used. The core flood experiments were conducted at reservoir condition and using Berea sandstone core plugs. The results showed that the two DESs did not make emulsion with the heavy oil. They increased the IFT of oil-brine system. Moreover, the two DESs altered the wettability of the sandstone rock surfaces from strongly oil-wet to neutral-wet conditions. The core flooding runs at different temperatures showed high potential of using these DESs for enhancing heavy oil recovery; where 14-30% of water flooded residual heavy oil was recovered after injecting the DES solvents as tertiary recovery stage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE EOR Conference at Oil and Gas West Asia 2014: Driving Integrated and Innovative EOR
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Pages727-749
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781632663184
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSPE EOR Conference at Oil and Gas West Asia 2014: Driving Integrated and Innovative EOR - Muscat, Oman
Duration: Mar 31 2014Apr 2 2014

Other

OtherSPE EOR Conference at Oil and Gas West Asia 2014: Driving Integrated and Innovative EOR
CountryOman
CityMuscat
Period3/31/144/2/14

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Keywords

  • Deep eutectic solvents (DESs)
  • Heavy oil recovery
  • Interfacial tension reduction
  • Rock wettability alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

Mohsenzadeh, A., Al-Wahaibi, Y., Jibril, B., & Al-Hajri, R. (2014). The novel use of deep eutectic solvents for enhancing heavy oil recovery. In Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE EOR Conference at Oil and Gas West Asia 2014: Driving Integrated and Innovative EOR (pp. 727-749). Society of Petroleum Engineers.