Potential of Low Salinity Brines in Altering Wettability and Improving Oil Recovery from Liquid Rich Shale by Spontaneous Imbibition

Manoj Kumar Valluri, Johannes Alvarez, David S. Schechter


Low salinity brines were tested to be effective at altering wettability in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs while their impacton shale has not been examined so far. Such studies could help analyze the effectiveness of monovalent and divalent salts whichcould further be used to formulate affordable injection fluids that economically recover additional oil compared toconeventional injection fluids. This paper aims to investigate the effect of concentration of brines of monovalent sodium anddivalent calcium on altering the wettability and oil-water IFT in liquid rich shale with heterogeneous lithological compositionthat includes carbonate, quartz and clays. Contact angle, IFT and zeta potential tests were conducted to analyze rock-brine andoil-brine interactions while spontaneous imbibtion was conducted at an optimum salinity derived from wettability tests.Computed Tomography was used to study fluid penetration into rock matrix and its effect on the resultant oil recovery.

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