A critical review of carbonate reservoir wettability modification during low salinity waterflooding

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The nature of carbonate reservoirs promotes the adsorption of oil onto the rock surface hence making oil recovery a challenge even with the interventions of varied chemical EOR methods. Recently, low salinity water flooding has become of great interest since it is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Although low salinity waterflooding has been highly investigated in sandstone reservoirs, it is not the same for carbonate reservoirs due to its complexities. Nonetheless, it has been proposed as a favourable technique to mobilise the trapped oil in carbonate reservoirs. Wettability alteration is regarded as the most accepted mechanism for low salinity flooding but has not been well understood making field scale applications doubtful. In this paper, we present a detailed review of the wettability alteration mechanisms in carbonate reservoirs during low salinity waterflooding. Parameters influencing wettability alteration in carbonates and the interactions that occur at the rock/brine/oil interface are also presented. The different methods utilised for wettability measurements during low salinity waterflooding are also reviewed including their drawbacks and advantages and recommendations. This will provide an improved understanding of the low salinity flooding application in carbonate reservoirs.
Perekaboere Ivy Sagbana, Kwame Sarkodie, Wilberforce Aggrey Nkrumah, A critical review of carbonate reservoir wettability modification during low salinity waterflooding, Petroleum, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2023, Pages 317-330,