Energy & Fuels, Vol.34, No.12, 16147-16157, 2020
Seepage Characterization of Oil-in-Water Emulsion in Porous Media in Marine Sandstone Reservoirs
Interfacial tension is a crucial factor affecting emulsion flow behavior in porous media. Finding the emulsion flow properties under different interfacial tensions is important to the potential use of emulsion in field enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. In this study, oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions were first prepared with different interfacial tensions. Then, a set of sandpack flow experiments were conducted to study how the interfacial tension affects the plugging ability of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion when flowing in porous media. After that, a regression model, which considered the interfacial tension factor for the first time, was developed using MINITAB to determine the emulsion plugging ability characterized by effective viscosity. The results show that the interfacial tension between oil and water in the O/W emulsion system had a significant effect on the emulsion plugging ability. The plugging pressure of emulsion in sandpacks increases with the increase in interfacial tension. This is probably because the strength of the film between oil droplets and water became higher as the interfacial tension increased. The newly developed regression model, which incorporates the interfacial tension effect to describe the emulsion effective viscosity in different sandpacks, has a good correlation with experimental data. From error analysis, the correlation coefficient R-adi(2), and mean absolute relative error MAE(R) between the calculated and experimental results are 0.994 and 4.64%, respectively. The regression model could be used for prediction for the O/W emulsion effective viscosity in porous media with relatively high accuracy.