Improvement of mancos shale oil recovery by wettability alteration and mineral dissolution

Samiha Morsy, A. Gomma, Baker Hughes, J. J. Sheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In order to understand the performance of waterflooding in nano-darcy permeability, naturally fractured shale reservoirs, an integrated study of spontaneous imbibition has been performed. In this study, oil recovery during spontaneous imbibition in naturally fractured shale samples was improved using different water formulations. Different water solutions were formulated by adding different amounts of HCl and NaOH to either distilled water or 30 wt% KCl-base brine solution. Eight water formulations, distilled water, 30 wt% KCl brine low pH HCl solutions (0.39, 0.4, and 0.57), and high pH alkaline solutions (11.8, 11.9, and 13) were examined to recover oil from shale rock samples. Outcrop core samples from Mancos shale were used in this study. The samples were 2.54 to 3.81 cm in diameter and 0.762 to 5.08 cm in length. Firstly, we studied the porosity of the used samples using CT Scanning. The average porosity was 2.7% for the used samples. Secondly, we studied the rock stability and spontaneous imbibtion of different Mancos samples in distilled water, 30 wt% KCl, low pH solutions and high pH alkaline solutions. Mancos samples were very sensitive to distilled water which resulted in whole samples damage due to sever clay swelling. During the spontaneous imbibition, the maximum oil recovery was 59% using distilled water due to whole sample damage. The low and high pH solutions also improved oil recovery from Mancos samples up to 53% due to mineral dissolution and with more stability conditions compared with distilled water. In addition to mineral dissolution, rock wettability was also altered to more water-wet conditions using low and high pH solutions that has been confirmed by the measured contact angles on the used Mancos samples, where the measured contact angles were less compared to rock initial values. The high and low pH solution affected the rock hardness differently. The low pH solutions lowered Mancos rock hardness up to 34%, while the high pH solutions strengthened the rock up to 143% more.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - 19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781632663863
StatePublished - 2014
Event19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014 - Tulsa, OK, United States
Duration: Apr 12 2014Apr 16 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery


Conference19th SPE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, IOR 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTulsa, OK


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