One of the main objectives of nanotechnology in the oil industry is to identify applications that could bring significant benefits to enhanced oil recovery. Therefore, it has attracted the attention of many researchers over the last decade. This paper experimentally investigates the efficiency of surface-modified silica nanoparticles in enhanced oil recovery. These nanoparticles improve oil recovery through two main mechanisms: oil–water interfacial tension reduction; and wettability alteration. Various concentrations of nanofluid were made, and their effect on wettability and interfacial tension were investigated to determine the optimum concentration for injection into core samples. The results indicate that a concentration of 4 g l−1 is the optimum concentration. Moreover, this paper reports the nanofluids’ potential in enhanced oil recovery of water-wet core plugs. The results of coreflood experiments reveal that oil recovery increases by 26.2% and total oil recovery considerably improves after the injection of nanofluid. In addition, filtration of the nanofluid before injection into the core was very effective in reducing the risk of possible permeability damage that occurred due to the deposition of large nanoparticle aggregates onto the rock surface.
- © 2014 EAGE/The Geological Society of London