Displacement mechanism of polymeric surfactant in chemical cold flooding for heavy oil based on microscopic visualization experiments

Fei Xu, Qiang Chen, Mengqi Ma, Yicheng Wang, Fuwei Yu, Junjian Li

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In order to study the microscopic oil displacement mechanism of polymeric surfactant in chemical cold flooding for heavy oil, the indoor microscopic visualization displacement experiments were carried out. The flooding experiment of heavy oil was conducted by using water, osmotic modified oil displacing agent (a kind of polymeric surfactant) and water-in-oil emulsion (obtained by mixing polymeric surfactant and heavy oil) as displacing phases to study the mechanism of polymeric surfactant to enhance oil recovery in heavy oil reservoir. The experimental results show that the polymeric surfactant can increase the viscosity of the water phase, reduce the water-oil mobility ratio, expand the swept area, and there is no obvious fingering phenomenon which occurs during water flooding. The polymeric surfactant has the surfactant characteristics which can reduce the interfacial tension between oil and water to promote the formation of oil droplets with smaller droplet diameter. And the interfacial film composed of polymeric surfactant molecules will be formed on the surface of oil droplets to prevent the coalescence of oil droplets and improve the flow ability of oil phase. The water-in-oil emulsion can be miscible with the oil in heavy oil displacement process, and thus sweeps the areas such as the dead pores which cannot be swept by water and polymeric surfactant flooding, which increases the sweep efficiency to a certain extent.

Cited as: Xu, F., Chen, Q., Ma, M., Wang, Y., Yu, F., Li, J. Displacement mechanism of polymeric surfactant in chemical cold flooding for heavy oil based on microscopic visualization experiments. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2020, 4(1): 77-85, doi: 10.26804/ager.2020.01.07


Polymeric surfactant, microscopic visualization experiments, heavy oil displacement mechanism, chemical cold flooding

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