The use of ionic liquids (ILs) in enhanced oil recovery is considered a new and promising technology as it has never been tested in any pilot plant or reservoir field. ILs are very similar to surfactants as they help reduce the interfacial tension, change the wettability of the reservoir, and some have strong viscous effect, all essential factors in recovering more heavy oil. The technology can also be used for medium and light oil recoveries with other kinds of ionic liquids. After an initial screening, the best ionic liquid will be used in a chemical enhanced oil recovery application where an alkali and a polymer are added to increase the recovery factor. ILs have the potential to be the most promising Chemical enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology in the history of heavy oil production. The economic benefits to Saskatchewan and Canada could be extraordinary.
Petroleum Technology Research Centre
Engineering - other
Oil and gas
University of Regina
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