A Study of Spontaneous Imbibition Recovery Mechanism of Surfactant Formulated from Methyl Ester Sulfonates

Sugihardjo Sugihardjo


MES (Methyl Ester Suffocates) can be formulated to become surfactant-MES that has surfactant potential properties for EOR (enhanced oil recovery). A such formulated surfactant MES by adding some solvents and chemicals to adjust its properties in order to generate a compatibity with reservoir fluid and rock has been developed. This formulated surfactant MES, therefore, has been tested its properties for enhanced oil recovery in a selected oil field. The oil field produces an oil withc39.45oAPI, and brine content of about 18,900 mg/L equivalent NaCl concentration. While reservoir rock is not available and substituted by Bentheimer standard core. Basically the production enhancements of surfactant solution for EOR processes are wettability alteration and interfacial tension reduction. In these experiments, some evaluations have been done to observe the capability the formulated surfactant MES for oil production enhancements includingwettability alteration and imbibition capability. Formulated low interfacial tension surfactant-MES that will be evaluated for spontaneous imbibition ability have been diluted in the brine of 0.5 and 1.0% concentrations. Tests on wettability alteration indicated that the surfactant solutions could not change the wettability of the rocks. The initial wettability is mixed wet and still mixed wet after ageing in the surfactant solution. On other hand the spontaneous imbibition tests resulted in significant oil production coming out from the cores, i.e. 67.07% oil recovery with 0.5% surfactant and 92.25% for 1.0% surfactant solutions. But optimum oil recovery factor by brine imbibition is only 41.69%


Methyl ester sulfonates, wettability alteration, interfacial tension reduction, spontaneous imbibition, recovery factor.

Full Text:



Abbasi-Ast Y., Pope G.A., Delshad M., 2010, “Mechanistic Modeling of Chemical Transport in Naturally Fractured Oil Reservoirs”. SPE 129661 prepared for presentation at the 2010 SPE Improved oil Recovery, Tulsa 24-26 April.

Alamdari, B.B., Kazemi, H., Salehi, M., Thomas, C., Izadi, M., Manrique, E., 2011, “Modeling Surfactant Enhanced Oil Recovery from Short and Long Fractured Carbonate Cores and Scaling of Results to Fields Application”. SPE 146375, this paper prepared for presentation at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Denver, Colorado, USA 30 October - 2 November.

Bambang Widarsono, 2010, “An Investigation Over Rock Wettability and Its Alteration on Some Indonesian Sandstones”. LSC (LEMOGAS Scientific Contribution To Petroleum Science & Technology) Volume 33, Number 3, December.

Delshad M., Najafabadi N.F., Anderson G.A., Pope G.A., 2006, “Modeling Wettability Alteration by Surfactants in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs”. SPE 100081 presented at the SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved oil Recovery , Tulsa 22-28 April.

Hirasaki G.J., Miller C.A., Pope G.A., Jackson R.E., 2004, “Surfactant Based Enhanced Oil Recovery and Foan Mobility Control”. 1st Annual Technical Report, July. Rice University Department of Chemical Engineering, Houston, TX.

Hirasaki, G., SPE, Zhang, D.L., “Surface Chemistry of Oil Recovery From Fractured, Oil-Wet, Carbonate Formations”. SPE 88365 presented at the 2003 SPE International Symposium on Oil Filed Chemistry, Houston, 5-8 February.


Ma, S., N.R. Morrow, and X. Zhang, 1997, “Gen¬eralized Scaling of Spontaneous Imbibition Data for Strongly Water-wet Systems”. J. Pet. Sci. & Eng., 18, pp. 165-178.

Ma, S.M., Morrow, N.R., Zhou, X., 1999, “Characterization of Wettability from Spontaneous Imbibition Measurements”. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, Special Edition Volume 38 No. 13.

Morrow, N.R., Mason, G., 2001, “Recovery of Oil by Spontaneous Imbibition”. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Sciences 6.

Seethepalli A., Adibhata B., Mohanty K.K., 2004, “Wettability Alteration During Surfactant Flooding of Carbonate Reservoirs”. SPE 89423 prepared for presentation at the SPE/DOE Fourteenth Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery , Tulsa Oklahoma USA 17-21 April.

Sri Helianty and Zulfansyah, 2011, “Pembuatan Ester Metil Sulfonat dari Ester Metil Palm Stearin”. Jurusan Teknik Kimia Universitas Riau, Kampus Binawidya Km. 12,5 Simpang Baru, Pekanbaru 28293, srihelianty@yahoo.com. Jurnal Teknobiologi, II(1) hal. 37 – 39, ISSN : 2087 – 5428

Tie, H., and Norman, R. M., “Oil Recovery By Spontaneous Imbibition Before And After Wettability Alteration Of Three Carbonate Rocks By A Moderately Asphaltic Crude Oil”. Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Department, University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming. SCA2005-11.

Zhang, J., Nguyen, P.Q., Flaaten A.K., Pope, G.A., 2008, “Mechanism of Enhanced Natural Imbibition with Novel Chemicals”. SPE 113453 prepared for presentation at the 2008 SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA., 19-23 April.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29017/SCOG.36.2.763

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.