Synergistic effects of engineered water-nanoparticle on oil/brine/rock interactions in carbonates

Ibraheem Salaudeen, Muhammad Rehan Hashmet, Peyman Pourafshary

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Nano particle-assisted engineered water is one of the newest hybrid methods of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) that is gaining attention in the oil and gas industry. This is attributed to the low cost of the technique and environmental friendliness of the materials involved. Low salinity and ions adjustment of the injection brine has been reported to be very useful for improving oil production in carbonates, and application of nanoparticles (NPs) to improve oil recovery via different mechanisms such as wettability alteration, interfacial tension reduction, disjoining pressure and viscosity modification. This paper therefore investigates the combined effects of these two techniques on oil-brine-rock (OBR) interactions in carbonate reservoirs. Caspian Sea Water salinity of 13000 ppm was synthesized in the laboratory, potential determining ions such as Mg2+, Ca2+ and SO42- were adjusted to obtain the desired engineered waters used as dispersant for SiO2 nanoparticle. A series of experiments were performed ranging from zeta potential, interfacial tension, contact angle, electron scanning environmental imaging, pH analysis and particle size to determine the optimum formulation of engineered low salinity brine and nanoparticle. The salinities and concentration of NP considered in this experimental study ranges between (3,250 - 40,000) ppm and (0.05 - 0.5) wt.%, respectively. It was observed that optimum homogenization time for achieving stability of the chosen nanofluid without using stabilizer is 45 minutes. Four times sulphate and calcium ions in the engineered water reduced the contact angle from 163 to 109 and 151 to 118 degrees respectively. However, in the presence of NP, the contact angle further reduced to a very low values of 5 and 41 degrees. This confirms the combined effects of EW and that of nanofluid (NF) in altering wettability from the hydrophobicity state to hydrophilicity one that rapidly improves oil recovery in carbonate reservoir. IFT measurements were made between oil and formation brine as well as between oil and different EWs at room temperature. The Formation water has the least value of interfacial tension- 15mN/m. Four times diluted sea water spiked with four times sulphate is denoted as 4dsw4S. The zeta potential values showed dsw4S-NF to be the most stable, whereas EW-NF spiked with 4 times Mg2+ show detrimental effects on NF stability. The nanoparticles sizes were measured to be less than 50 nm. Rheological studies of the EW-NF at different temperatures (25, 40, 60 and 80 degrees Celsius) shows similar trend of Newtonian and non-Newtonian behavior at shear rate less than 100 and above 100 per seconds respectively. We conclude that spiking calcium ion and sulphate ion into the injected brine in combination with 0.1wt% NP yielded the wettability alteration in carbonate rock samples. The significant reduction in wettability is attributed to the combined effects of the active mechanisms present in the hybrid method and is considerably better than each standalone technique.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Europec featured at 82nd EAGE Conference and Exhibition, EURO 2021
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781613997918
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventSPE Europec featured at 82nd EAGE Conference and Exhibition, EURO 2021 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Oct 18 2021Oct 21 2021

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Europec featured at 82nd EAGE Conference and Exhibition, EURO 2021


ConferenceSPE Europec featured at 82nd EAGE Conference and Exhibition, EURO 2021


  • Carbonate reservoirs
  • Engineered water (EW)
  • Nanofluid (NF)
  • Wettability alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Fuel Technology


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