Research Article Open Access

Lab-on-Chip Methodology in the Energy Industry: Wettability Patterns and Their Impact on Fluid Displacement in Oil Reservoir Models

Marc H. Schneider1 and Patrick Tabeling2
  • 1 Etudes et Production Schlumberger, 1 rue Henri Becquerel, 92140 Clamart, France
  • 2 Microfluidique, MEMS and Nanostructures, UMR 7083 Gulliver CNRS-ESPCI, Paris, France

Abstract

Problem statement: We present an experimental study of multiphase transport in porous media with controlled wettability patterns based on lab-on-chip methodology. Approach: Fractional, or patterned, wettability is known to have an enormous impact in the petroleum industry on oil recovery and continuous efforts are being made to assess the role of such conditions. Results: Thus far, due to the absence of the technology required to produce micro fluidic networks modeling porous media (called "micromodels") with well-controlled wettability patterns, experimental results on this question have remained particularly elusive. We recently unlocked this bottleneck and can now selectively alter surface wettability within individual pores and thereby create precisely controlled wettability patterns within "micro models". Conclusion/Recommendations: The experiments we report here reveal the considerable impact of wettability patterning on the oil-water flow behavior (as compared with homogeneous wetting) and the consequence on the amount of liquid left after one phase has been swept through the network, information directly linked to the question of oil recovery.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 8 No. 10, 2011, 927-932

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2011.927.932

Submitted On: 6 June 2011 Published On: 20 August 2011

How to Cite: Schneider, M. H. & Tabeling, P. (2011). Lab-on-Chip Methodology in the Energy Industry: Wettability Patterns and Their Impact on Fluid Displacement in Oil Reservoir Models. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 8(10), 927-932. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2011.927.932

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Keywords

  • Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
  • reservoir rock
  • environmental applications
  • porous media
  • multiphase transport
  • large pores
  • fluid displacement
  • reservoir wettability
  • prototyping techniques
  • microfluidic system