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Chip Flood (vs) Core Flood—Assessment of Flowback and Oil Productivity in Oil-Wet Hydraulic Fractured Rocks

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: New developments in lab technologies help us to explore problems that were less understood in the past due to the limitations and technological constraints. One such problem of assessing the formation damage created by the invasion of fracture fluid into the matrix at lab scale is the visualization of fluid saturation distributions inside the matrix. According to the current understanding, the high capillarity contrast between the fracture and the matrix creates a non-uniform saturation distribution of invaded fluid phase during flowback, with the saturations mostly concentrated at the fracture face. With the advent of microfluidics, their application has become more feasible to visually analyze the effectiveness of surfactants to mitigate the invasion-created formation damage and understand the impact of depth of invasion on the characteristics of flowback and oil productivity. Through our previous work, we have successfully demonstrated the capability of this new visualization tool in studying the factors of the presence of surfactant in the fracture fluid and its depth of invasion, to understand the flowback efficiencies and later oil productivities in oil-wet fractured formations. Since the substrate for flooding was a proxy model of an actual rock, the chip flooding results need to be validated with conventional core flooding experiments. In contemporary times, when the new advancements in technology are driving the research progress in all industries, it is mandatory to take a well informed decision by imposing a comparative check on the results with accessible conventional means, wherever possible. The success of validation of chip flooding approach with the core flooding approach in this work instates a strong belief over the application of microfluidics to pursue more research in related fields of oil recovery.

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