Water Flooding Under Influence of Asphaltene Adsorption

Vahid Hematfar
Supervisors: Dr. John Chen, Dr. Brij Maini


Asphaltene is a heavy fraction of crude oil, it has surface active properties and polarity, a typical molecular weight of 1000-2500 g/mol, and is soluble in toluene and benzene, and insoluble in n-hexane and n-heptane. Asphaltene absorption is the interfacial phenomenon involving the interaction between rock, asphaltene containing fluid and water film which is able to affect: interfacial tension (IFT), contact angle, wettability, relative permeability, end-point saturations, and water flood performance.

It is found by test that composition changes through solvent co-injection affects asphaltene retention and flow behavior. Longer breakthrough time, more favorable transient flow and reduced residual saturation also indicate the effects of asphaltene retention on recovery however plugging of pore throats imposed significant pressure drop. IFT and/or mobility concepts can be utilized for interpretation.