Performance Evaluation of ionic Liquids in Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Numerical Simulation
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Given the rise in oil productivity from conventional and unconventional resources in Canada and North America, using enhanced oil recovery technique, the need to understand and characterize these techniques, for the purpose of recovery optimization, has taken a prominent role in resource management. Chemical flooding has proved to be one of the most efficient EOR techniques. This study investigated the potential of employing Ionic Liquids (ILs) as alternative chemical agents for improving oil recovery. There is very little attention paid to employing this technique as well as few experimental and simulation studies. Consequently, very limited data is available. Since pilot and field studies are relatively expensive and time consuming, a numerical simulation study using CMG-STARS simulator was utilized to explore the efficiency of employing 1-Ethyl-3-Methyl-Imidazolium Acetate ([EMIM][Ac]) and 1-Benzyl-3- methlimidazolium chloride ([BenzMIM][Cl]) with respect to improving medium oil recovery. Eight different lab-scale core flooding experiments were selected with the objective to develop a numerical model to obtain the history matching of the experimental flooding results. To fulfill this objective; mainly, two-phase relative permeability curves were tuned. In this dissertation, the simulation results are presented in the form of oil recovery factor (RF), well bottom-hole pressure, oil cut, water cut and two-phase relative permeability curves. A sensitivity analysis was performed for the chemical injection rate, the chemical concentration, the slug size, and the initiation time while studying the effects of changing the oil viscosity, the polymer viscosity, and the reservoir temperature on oil recovery. In addition, the effect of changing the chemical adsorption and combining IL with low salinity water were considered. The results have shown a noticeable increase in the oil RF when injecting IL compared to conventional waterflooding. Furthermore, combining IL with alkaline and polymer led to higher oil recovery than injecting IL alone. Finally, the numerical model was upscaled to qualitatively examine the sustainability and efficiency of this technique in a field scale. The results emphasize the potential of applying IL flooding in a field scale. The increase in oil recovery is also consistent with the lab-scale model.