As foam is injected into an oil reservoir, the region near an injector can become oil-free due to the relatively high capillary number. Foam created in this region encounters oil further out in the reservoir. The impact of oil on foam in porous media is usually investigated by co-injecting surfactant, gas and oil, or by injecting pre-generated foam into an oil-saturated core. However, the former experiment does not give information on the impact of oil on pre-generated foam, and from the latter experiment one cannot easily obtain data at different oil fractional flows, necessary to model the impact of oil on pre-generated foam. Here the impact of crude oil on pre-generated foam is studied by co-injecting surfactant solution and gas into a relative narrow core (0.01 m diameter), and injecting oil into the porous medium some distance downstream from the inlet, through ports in the side of the porous medium. By injecting the three phases into the core we investigate the flow behaviour of foam with oil at fixed fractional flows of all three phases. The relatively narrow core allows rapid contact between the injected crude oil and pre-generated foam. We observe a progressive decrease in the apparent viscosity of the foam after encountering oil. Foams with a higher gas fraction experience a more significant weakening by oil over the length of the core than foams with a lower gas fraction. By the end of the core, the apparent viscosities of foam with a higher gas fraction approach values observed with three-phase co-injection. Foam made with surfactant pre-equilibrated with the crude oil propagated for a shorter distance in presence of oil than foam made with surfactant that hasn’t contacted oil before. We present a novel, but relatively simple method to investigate the change of foam mobility as it encounters oil in a porous medium, at controlled fractional flows of all phases. We show that in our case the apparent viscosity of foam with oil can decrease by more than a factor of four over a distance of 0.15 m, indicating that foam and oil reach steady-state (as observed with three-phase co-injection) almost instantaneously compared to the length of a reservoir-simulation grid-block.
|Title of host publication
|Proceedings of the 20th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery
|Number of pages
|Published - 2019
|20th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery - Pau, France
Duration: 8 Apr 2019 → 11 Apr 2019
|20th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery
|8/04/19 → 11/04/19
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