Hamidreza Nasiri, Kristine Spildo, and Arne Skauge Center for Integrated Petroleum Research (CIPR), Bergen, Norway This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts held in Noordwijk, The Netherlands 27-30 September, 2009
Wettability has been the object of much research. Several papers have discussed the influence of wettability on oil recovery. The major factor which controls the location, flow, and distribution of fluids in a reservoir is wettability [1]. Wettability is a significant issue in multiphase flow problems ranging from oil migration from source rocks to such enhanced recovery processes as chemical flooding or alternate injection of CO2 and water [2]. Several researchers attempt to alter the wettablity favorably in the oil reservoirs to improve spontaneous imbibition of water and also the waterflood in order to enhance oil recovery. Austad et al. [3] and Xu et al. [4] reported different production profiles using surface active agents to enhance spontaneous imbibition into chalk cores and ascribed this difference in behavior to the change of wettability by surface active agents. Several authors [5-7] have reported effects of brine composition on wettability change and Alagic and Skauge [8] demonstrated the use of low salinity water plus surfactant to change wettability and improve oil recovery. Enzymes-proteins can be introduced to improve waterflood performance especially in oil-wet reservoirs by changing the wettability to a more water-wet state and possibly lead to increased oil recovery [9]. Enzymes are a specific group of globular proteins that are synthesized by living cells to work as catalysts for the many thousands of biochemical reactions such as break down or synthesis of certain compounds. Like all catalysts, enzymes work by lowering the activation energy of a reaction, thus dramatically accelerating the reaction rate [10-11]. Chemical catalysts display only limited selectivity; whereas enzymes show specificity for the substrates and also products, which ensure that the final product is not contaminated with by-products. Enzymes with broad specificity have more flexible active site requirements and can therefore accept a wider range of substrate molecules [10-11]
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