Wettability Alteration Study of Supercritical CO2 Fracturing Fluid on Low Permeability Oil Reservoir

Xin Sun, Caili Dai, Yongpeng Sun, Mingyong Du, Tao Wang, Chenwei Zou, Jiayuan He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Hydraulic fracturing has become an important stimulation technique for low/ultralow permeability reservoirs. Supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2), as a no water phase material of fracturing fluid, receives wide attention. Current researches on SC-CO2 fracturing fluid has mainly focused on its viscous properties and superiorities. However, little attention has been devoted to the interaction between SC-CO2 fracturing fluid and the oil reservoir during the fracturing process. Besides, in a low permeability reservoir, the wettability determines the oil recovery by imbibition, which is a main way to explore oil for a matrix. Therefore, it is crucial to study the wettability alteration on a low permeability oil reservoir introduced by SC-CO2 fracturing fluid. In this study, a contact angle goniometer was introduced to characterize the wettability alteration on low permeability cores by SC-CO2 fracturing fluid. Meanwhile, nuclear magnetic resonance T2 spectra, a scanning electron microscope, and a energy dispersive spectrometer were used to explain the mechanisms of wettability alteration and the adsorption of fracturing fluid was analyzed. In addition, spontaneous imbibition tests were conducted to definite the impact of wettability alteration on oil production. The results showed that the thickener in SC-CO2 fracturing fluid, fluid filter loss, and reservoir permeability were all responsible for wettability alteration on the core surface. With the increasing thickener contents and filter loss of fracturing fluid, cores turned to be intermediate and slightly water-wet from initial strongly water-wet, which was unfavorable for oil production.Comparatively low permeability cores which consist of more micro-small pores were more likely to make treated cores oleophilic, as well. Thickener adsorption was confirmed to be the main mechanism on wettability alteration by SC-CO2 fracturing fluid, which resulted in different pore surfaces, and thus a more oleophilic cores surface. On the basis of the results of spontaneous imbibition, strong lipophilicity cores corresponded to lower oil recovery, which illustrated that wettability alteration caused by SC-CO2 fracturing fluid was not favored for oil flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13364-13373
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017


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