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Laboratory Research|Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute

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Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute
Department 4068
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2791
Fax: (307) 766-2737
Physical Location
1020 East Lewis Street
Energy Innovation Center 300
Laramie, WY

Laboratory Research in Enhanced Oil Recovery

EORI has initiated a laboratory effort to improve recovery during waterfloods. We are working on improving waterflood efficiency by changing the chemistry of the injected water.
The standard approach to waterflooding often involves re-injection of produced water to maintain reservoir pressure and improve recovery. Re-injection of produced water avoids formation damage and associated problems because the produced water is usually compatible with the rock.
Recently, several major oil companies have begun experimenting with modifying the chemistry of the injected water. Sometimes termed “designer waterfloods,” these efforts involve inexpensive water modifications such as altering the salinity or the inorganic composition to modify wettability.
Wyoming has many reservoir types with widely varying wettability. Sandstones tend to be more water-wet, while the carbonates tend to be more oil-wet. In our laboratory, we test ways to change the injection chemistry using flow-through experiments that can be conducted at reservoir temperature and pressure. We use core plugs, generally 3 by 1.5 inches, which we place in core holders that apply a confining pressure on the core plug. We then place the entire unit into an oven and flood it with various fluids to try to improve recovery.
To date, we have experimented with low-salinity injection in sandstone. We are also building a new core flooding line to test variations in CO2 flooding by changing the injection water portion of the flood. Finally, we are starting a project to test recent ideas to improve recovery from carbonate reservoirs.
Laboratory technical capabilities:

  • Injection rates – 0.1 to 2 ml/min.
  • P range – 15-2,000 psi (up to 3,500 psi for CO2 line)
  • T range – 30-120 degrees Celsius
  • Injection fluids (brine, CO2, surfactant, alkaline, polymer)
  • Core size – 1-1.5 in. diameter, 3-10 in. length

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