Enhanced Oil Recovery

  • Author: Nancy McGuire
  • Published: 28 May 2015
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects/Elsevier
thumbnail image: Enhanced Oil Recovery

During fracking operations, foam is injected into an extraction site to plug side pores and keep the oil flowing in the main recovery channel. This also helps prevent water from contaminating the recovered oil. Polymers form stable foams; however, their viscosity makes it difficult to force them into small pores. Polymer foams become less viscous and eventually break down at temperatures higher than 85 °C. Gel-enhanced polymer foams overcome many of these problems, providing effective plugging and stability.

Guang Zhao and colleagues, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao, evaluated the performance of foams enhanced with comb-polymer gels in high-temperature reservoirs using laboratory experiments and oilfield tests. Comb-polymer gels form viscoelastic shells around foam bubbles, protecting them against shrinkage and drainage and improving their stability. The comb polymer gel increases the solution viscosity, but decreases its surface tension. This reduces the foam volume but increases the thickness and strength of the film.

Oilfield tests in high-temperature reservoirs (100 °C) showed that the gel-enhanced foam increased oil production and decreased water contamination.


Article Views: 2311

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH