Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 267–281 | Cite as

Injection of Dilute Oil-in-Water Emulsion as an Enhanced Oil Recovery Method for Heavy Oil: 1D and 3D Flow Configurations

  • Manoel L. R. de Farias
  • Elisabete F. Campos
  • Antônio Luiz S. de Souza
  • Marcio S. CarvalhoEmail author


Unfavorable mobility ratio and reservoir heterogeneities contribute to water fingering phenomenon that leads to relatively low oil recovery factors in heavy oil fields. Experiments have shown that injection of oil-in-water emulsions can be used as an effective enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method, leading to substantial increase in the volume of oil recovered. Capillary-driven mobility alteration of the water phase by emulsion drops leads to not only more uniform macroscopic reservoir sweep, but also a pore scale reduction in the residual oil saturation. Despite recent developments, fundamental aspects of dilute oil-in-water emulsion flow through porous media and its application as an EOR method are still not clear. Experiments were performed in a 1D flow configuration using silica sandpacks and sandstone cores to determine the effect of permeability, emulsion drop size, dispersed phase concentration and size of injected emulsion bank on the volume of displaced oil, a crude heavy oil from Campos Basin (\(20^{\circ }\) API). X-ray computerized tomography images obtained during experiments in a Castlegate sandstone block in a 1/4 5-spot configuration revealed that emulsion acts both in the macroscale and pore scale, improving the macroscopic sweep and lowering the residual oil saturation.


Emulsion Capillarity Enhanced oil recovery Mobility control Residual oil saturation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manoel L. R. de Farias
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elisabete F. Campos
    • 1
  • Antônio Luiz S. de Souza
    • 1
  • Marcio S. Carvalho
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Petroleo Brasileiro SARio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringPontificia Universidade Catolica doRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Shell BrasilRio de JaneiroBrazil

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