bto logo
Enzymes for Enhanced Oil Recovery Research Report U. of Bergen Research Report 2011

Abstract

Primary oil recovery by reservoir pressure depletion and secondary oil recovery by waterflooding usually result in poor displacement efficiency. As a consequence there is always some trapped oil remaining in oil reservoirs. Oil entrapment is a result of complex interactions between viscous, gravity and capillary forces. Improving recovery from hydrocarbon fields typically involves altering the relative importance of the viscous and capillary forces. The potential of many EOR methods depends on their influence on fluid/rock interactions related to wettability and fluid/fluid interactions reflected in interfacial tension (Green and Willhite, 1998). If the method has the potential to change the interactions favorably, it may be considered for further investigation, i.e. core flooding experiment, pilot and reservoir implementation. Enzyme-proteins can be introduced as an enhanced oil recovery method to improve waterflood performance by affecting interactions at the oil-water-rock interfaces. An important part of this thesis was to investigate how selected enzymes may influence wettability and capillary forces in a crude oil-brine-rock system, and thus possibly contribute to enhanced oil recovery. The effect of enzymes on interactions in the oil/brine/solid system was studied. It was found that enzymes can change the adhesion behavior of the crude oil on glass surfaces from adhesion to non-adhesion when they are added to the brine solution. This was confirmed by contact angle measurements, which showed that contact angles became more water-wet (i.e. decreased) after exposure to enzyme solutions. Possible mechanisms giving rise to these observations, including catalysis of ester hydrolysis and enzyme adsorption, were discussed and tested. An experimental study of changes in oil-water interfacial properties by addition of enzymes and proteins, including measurements of interfacial tension and electrophoretic mobility, has been performed. It was found that the effect of enzymes on oil-water properties is minor compared to their effect on oil-water-solid properties. Their contribution to change interfacial tension between oil and water is not significant while they affect the electrophoretic mobility of emulsified oil in enzyme-brine solution to some extent. Attempts were also made to study changes in both oil and water phase composition after equilibration with enzymes. However, since the chemical composition of crude oil is highly complex, a model oil was used in some of the experiments. The model oil was chosen to be a water insoluble ester (ethyl decanoate) solved in mineral oil in an effort to verify the possible role of catalysis of ester hydrolysis.
GreenZymeŽ GreenZymeŽ Mechanism Mechanism Technology & Application Technology & Application Lab Test Lab Test Essays & Papers Essays & Papers Contact Contact GreenZymeŽ GreenZymeŽ Mechanism Mechanism Technology & Application Technology & Application Lab Test Lab Test Essays & Papers Essays & Papers Contact Contact