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Evaluation of foam performance at different temperature for enhanced oil recovery process

Nurul Suhana Abd Rahim (Department of Petroleum Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS , Perak, Malaysia)
Ismail Mohd Saaid (Department of Petroleum Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS , Perak, Malaysia)
Abubakar Abubakar Umar (Department of Petroleum Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS , Perak, Malaysia)

World Journal of Engineering

ISSN: 1708-5284

Article publication date: 4 June 2019

Issue publication date: 14 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Application of foam in enhanced oil recovery requires a production of foam that is strong and stable enough to withstand a long period. There are numerous factors that may affect the performance of foam, among which is temperature. Therefore, this study aims to observe the foam performance at different temperature by evaluating the foamability and the stability of the foam.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, bulk foam test using FoamScan was conducted to examine the effect of temperature on foam in the presence of crude oil. Nitrogen gas was sparged through the mixture of crude oil, an in-house developed surfactant, and sodium chloride solution as the brine at different temperatures to produce foam at a certain height. The crude oil was extracted from an oilfield in East Malaysia and the in-house developed surfactant was a mixture of amphoteric and anionic surfactants. A camera continuously recorded the height of foam during the generation and the collapse of the foam. The foamability and foam stability properties of each sample were taken as the indicators for foam performance. Furthermore, the entering, spreading and bridging analysis was run to observe the effect of the presence of crude oil on foam performance.

Findings

In general, the higher the temperature, the less stable the foam is. As the stability of foam is associated with the rate of liquid drainage, it was observed that as temperature increases, the rate of liquid drainage also increases. On the other hand, the entering, spreading and bridging analysis shows that there is entering of oil droplet happening on the interface of foam film that may promote the rupture of the foam film even more.

Originality/value

It was found that the temperature has a small impact on foamability, whereas the foam stability was significantly affected by the temperature. Therefore, it can be concluded that foamability is not necessarily interrelated to foam stability, contradicting to the findings of few authors.

Keywords

Citation

Abd Rahim, N.S., Saaid, I.M. and Umar, A.A. (2019), "Evaluation of foam performance at different temperature for enhanced oil recovery process", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 412-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJE-06-2018-0210

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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