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A laboratory approach to evaluate the efficiency of low salinity brine injection for enhancing oil recovery at high temperature in carbonate reservoirs


During the last two decades, low salinity water injection has been studied for enhanced oil recovery in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. Several theories about low salinity mechanisms have being proposed including wettability alteration (Buckley and Morrow, 2010).

This paper presents flooding experiments that study the impact of different salinity brines on the wettability in a carbonate reservoir. The coreflood experiments were performed at high temperature, 120ºC, at which few references can be found. Our results reveal that synthetic seawater is more favorable than formation water to increase oil recovery in both, secondary and tertiary recovery modes at high temperature in carbonate rocks. Moreover, in secondary mode the recovered oil is produced faster with synthetic seawater.