Formation damage caused by fine migration and straining is a well-documented phenomenon in sandstone reservoirs. Fine migration and the associated permeability decline have been observed in various experimental studies, and this phenomenon has been broadly explained by the analysis of surface forces between fines and sand grains. The Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory is a useful tool to help understand and model the fine release, migration, and control phenomena within porous media by quantifying the total interaction energy of the fine-brine-rock (FBR) system. Fine migration is mainly caused by changes in the attractive and repulsive surface forces, which are triggered by mud invasion during drilling activity, the utilization of completion fluid, acidizing treatment, and water injection into the reservoir during secondary and tertiary recovery operations. Increasing pH and decreasing water salinity collectively affect the attractive and repulsive forces and, at a specific value of pH, and critical salt concentration (CSC), the total interaction energy of the FBR system (VT) shifts from negative to positive, indicating the initiation of fine release. Maintaining the system pH, setting the salinity above the CSC, tuning the ionic composition of injected water, and using nanoparticles (NPs) are practical options to control fine migration. DLVO modeling elucidates the total interaction energy between fines and sand grains based on the calculation of surface forces of the system. In this context, zeta potential is an important indicator of an increase or decrease in repulsive forces. Using available data, two correlations have been developed to calculate the zeta potential for sandstone reservoirs in high-and low-salinity environments and validated with experimental values. Based on surface force analysis, the CSC is predicted by the DLVO model; it is in close agreement with the experimental value from the literature. The critical pH value is also estimated for alkaline flooding. Model results confirm that the application of NPs and the presence of divalent ions increase the attractive force and help to mitigate the fine migration problem. Hence, a new insight into the analysis of quantified surface forces is presented in current research work by the practical application of the DLVO theory to model fine migration initiation under the influence of injection water chemistry.
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