(Alkali) Surfactant Polymer


Surfactants for EOR: Olefin Sulfonate Behavior at High Temperature and Hardness

Marc Baviere (Inst. Francais du Petrole) | Bridgitte Bazin (Inst. Francais du Petrole) | Christine Noik (Inst. Francais du Petrole)



The surfactant properties usually required for EOR are investigated with alpha-olefin sulfonates (AOS’s), particularly at high temperature, salinity, and hardness, together with their solubility in brine, chemical stability, phase behavior, and adsorption.
The use of a cosolvent enables aqueous solutions to be prepared with concentrated brine, even at high divalent cation levels. But the chemical stability of some solutions can be affected by their sensitivity to the oxidation of unsaturated components, resulting in a decrease of the pH. Precautionary measures to stabilize the solutions are stressed-i.e., anaerobic environment, maintenance of an alkaline pH, or addition of alcohol. As already shown, these surfactants provide low interfacial tensions (IFT’s) and high solubilization parameters at high salinity and divalent cation content. Properties of optimal formulations have been investigated as a function of Properties of optimal formulations have been investigated as a function of surfactant and cosolvent molecular weight and brine composition.
Adsorption data on Na- and Ca- kaolinite are presented. In NaCl solutions, the amount of sulfonate adsorbed increases slightly with salinity. Preliminary measurements in hard water are shown to bring out the specific effect of calcium ions. According to the results concerning properties validly considered as screening criteria, we conclude that this family of sulfonates appears to be a potential candidate for EOR. potential candidate for EOR.

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