Foam improved oil recovery: foam front displacement in the presence of slumping

Elizabeth Mas-Hernández, Paul Grassia, Nima Shokri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Foam is often used in improved oil recovery processes to displace oil from an underground reservoir. During the process, the reservoir is flooded with surfactant, and then gas is injected to produce foam in situ, with the foam front advancing through the reservoir. Here the effect of surfactant slumping (downward movement of surfactant in relation to a lighter phase) upon the advance of a foam front is presented. Slumping which can be associated with foam drainage, coarsening and collapse, causes a rise in mobility of the foam front specifically near the top of the front. The description of a foam front displacement for an initially homogeneous foam mobility is therefore modified to account for slumping-induced inhomogeneities. Numerical solution for the front shape shows that, although slumping transiently produces a localised concave region on the otherwise convex front, this concavity has little effect on the long term front evolution. In fact in the long-time limit, a convex kink develops on the front: an analytical solution describing the convex kink agrees very well with the numerics.
LanguageEnglish
Pages123-132
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Volume473
Early online date31 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2015

Fingerprint

slumping
oil recovery
foams
Foams
Oils
Recovery
Surface-Active Agents
Surface active agents
surfactants
Underground reservoirs
concavity
Coarsening
Drainage
drainage
Gases
inhomogeneity
oils

Keywords

  • improved-oil recovery
  • foam
  • pressure-driven growth
  • porous media
  • numerical solution
  • analytical solution

Cite this

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title = "Foam improved oil recovery: foam front displacement in the presence of slumping",
abstract = "Foam is often used in improved oil recovery processes to displace oil from an underground reservoir. During the process, the reservoir is flooded with surfactant, and then gas is injected to produce foam in situ, with the foam front advancing through the reservoir. Here the effect of surfactant slumping (downward movement of surfactant in relation to a lighter phase) upon the advance of a foam front is presented. Slumping which can be associated with foam drainage, coarsening and collapse, causes a rise in mobility of the foam front specifically near the top of the front. The description of a foam front displacement for an initially homogeneous foam mobility is therefore modified to account for slumping-induced inhomogeneities. Numerical solution for the front shape shows that, although slumping transiently produces a localised concave region on the otherwise convex front, this concavity has little effect on the long term front evolution. In fact in the long-time limit, a convex kink develops on the front: an analytical solution describing the convex kink agrees very well with the numerics.",
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Foam improved oil recovery : foam front displacement in the presence of slumping. / Mas-Hernández, Elizabeth; Grassia, Paul; Shokri, Nima.

In: Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Vol. 473, 20.05.2015, p. 123-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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