Modeling of High-Pressure and High-Temperature Microemulsion Experiments using HLD-NAC-Based Equation of State

Daulet Magzymov, Russell T. Johns, Hafsa Hashim, Birol Dindoruk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Surfactant flooding is a promising technique that can reduce interfacial tension (IFT) between oil and water to ultralow values, mobilizing previously trapped oil. For reservoirs at moderate to high pressures, understanding and modeling how pressure affects the phase behavior of a surfactant-brine-oil system is important to the design and implementation of an efficient/cost-effective surfactant flooding project. Typically, however, phase behavior experiments and models of that phase behavior are made only at low pressures. The main objective of this paper is to show how to model experimental data in a unified way for a large range of pressure, temperature, and other parameters, using hydrophilic-lipophilic deviation (HLD) and net-average curvature (NAC)-based equation-of-state (EOS). Pressure and temperature scans show that pressure has a significant effect on the surfactant microemulsion phase behavior, shifting it from an optimal three-phase system at low pressure to a nonoptimal two-phase system at high pressure. Further, multiple scans at different water/oil ratios (WORs) show a shift in the optimum indicating that phase behavior partitioning of the various components is changing with oil saturation. We obtained good fits of all experimental data including all two- and three-phase regions using a single tuned HLD-NAC EOS for a wide range of simultaneous variations in pressure, temperature, salinity, and overall composition. Such a simultaneous match and prediction by a single set of model parameters has never been done before. We also demonstrate the type of data needed for an accurate EOS. When input into a numerical simulator, the tuned EOS improves the predictions of the resulting phase behavior (size and shape of the two-phase lobes and three-phase regions) and IFTs with changing pressure, temperature, salinity, WORs, and surfactant/ alcohol concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1215
Number of pages14
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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