Foam and Emulsion Effects on Gas Driven Oil Recovery

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The aim of this research was to investigate the gas mobility reducing effects that a gas driven surfactant slug has on enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Three chemically similar surfactants whose properties graded from foaming agent to emulsifying agent were used to study the effects that foam and emulsion formation have on enhanced oil recovery in an unconsolidated Ottawa sand model at room temperature. Both the foam lamellae and the emulsion droplets act to reduce the mobility of the injected gas in the swept zone thus increasing the vertical sweep efficiency. Shell's Enordet series of alcohol ethoxylate surfactants were used in the study at three different concentrations of, 0.010%, 0.030% and 0.100% (wt.).The experimental procedure consisted of displacing oil from a porous medium at residual water saturation by injecting carbon dioxide, followed first by the injection of a 0.20 pore volume slug of surfactant solution and then by carbon dioxide gas at low pressure. Measurements were made of the cumulative produced gas and liquids.Performance differences between different surfactants are small but consistent. Combining the foam and emulsion mechanisms seems to lead to more efficient oil recovery than either mechanism alone.


Type of resource text
Date created June 1987


Author Farrell, James
Primary advisor Marsden Jr., Sullivan S.
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Petroleum Engineering


Subject School of Earth Energy & Environmental Sciences
Genre Thesis

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Farrell, James. (1987). Foam and Emulsion Effects on Gas Driven Oil Recovery. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Master's Theses, Doerr School of Sustainability

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