Alkaline injection is a chemical enhanced oil recovery method that is used to increase oil recovery by reacting with the crude oil and creating an in situ surfactant. Many chemical agents can be used as an alkali during injection all of which have several advantages and disadvantages. This research focuses on the innate properties of three alkali agents and their ability to alter pH and temperature downhole. Alkali solutions were prepared with five different concentrations including 0.2, 1, 2, 3, and 4 wt%. The impact of varying the alkali concentration, monovalent cations manifested in sodium chloride, and divalent cations manifested in calcium chloride was investigated for all three alkalis. The chemical agents investigated include sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate, and sodium carbonate. Results indicated that sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate managed to impact the pH the most compared to the sodium carbonate. Sodium hydroxide also managed to increase the temperature significantly which is advantageous since it can reduce oil viscosity downhole. Sodium silicate had an advantage of being in liquid state at ambient conditions which makes injecting it downhole much easier compared to the two other alkaline agents. The chemical that was much affected by divalent cations was sodium silicate, which generated a precipitate and thus is not compatible with divalent cations, which are a major composition of most formation water. This research focuses on the innate properties of the alkali agents and the downhole factors that may impact their applicability in different oil reservoirs.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Alkaline injection; Chemical agents; Chemical interactions

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

01 Dec 2019