Enzymatic Enhanced Oil Recovery

Enzyme Enhanced Oil Recovery

WF-E OilStim Catalyst is ideally suited for:

  • Sandstone
  • Waterdrive formations with <30° API oil, >20% porosity, and >100-md permeability for single well treatments
  • Waterfloods have resulted in broader ranges as well as other applications

How EEOR Works

Testing was conducted by comparing nonenzyme-treated and enzyme-treated 26°API oil samples ( 10% concentration of WF-E OilStim Catalyst diluted in water was used)
Both were heated under pressure in order to simulate reservoir conditions
Enzymatic treatment improve oil recovery by catalyzing breakdown of larger molecules in oil into smaller molecules, which would improve flow characteristics of oil, including heavy oil
SARA (saturates, aromatics, resins, and asphaltenes) analysis supported breakdown hypothesis
Enzyme-treated sample had a 5% lower saturate content than non-enzyme sample

High-resolution gas chromatography

Non-enzyme treatment samples had clearly visible hydrocarbon peaks up to C44
Enzyme-treated samples: Smaller peaks beyond C30 and no visible hydrocarbon peaks past C37
Reduction in high-carbon-number paraffins and a corresponding reduction in molecular size of waxes points to a positive contribution from enzyme
Enzyme-substrate interaction is like an induced fit mechanism.
Substrate (paraffin-laden oil) and enzyme bind in a specific orientation to allow substrate to break down into smaller molecular weight products.

Viscosity and Interfacial Tension Tests

  • Sizable drop in viscosity, from 90.3 cp to 76.1 cp, in presence of enzyme treatment
  • Oil/water samples alone showed a high interfacial tensions on 20.5 mN/m
  • Enzyme treated samples showed an order of magnitude decrease in interfacial tension
  • Heating/pressure step to simulate reservoir conditions did not influence this behavior

Corefloods Tests Increased Recovery of OOIP

Using a Berea sandstone core saturated with synthetic brine and a 20°API crude oilEnzyme solutions at 3% and 7% concentration

WF-E OilStim Catalyst Field Trials

  • China
  • Indonesia – 7 wells plateau level of 60 bopd with 95% water cut and other detailed in following slides
  • Venezuela
  • Texas – One well increased from 4 bopd to over 8 bopd

Each well was treated with four 55-gallon drums of enzyme fluid concentrate that were further diluted to 5-10%. Production data for over a year showed an oil increase of 60%.

Oil-water-sand mixture treated with a 10% WF-E OilStim Catalyst solution (left) shows clean separation of oil from sand, into two distinct layers

Non-treated mixture (right) shows little oil-sand separation

Other Applications

  • Single oil well stimulation (huff-n-puff)
  • Heavy oil (cold production)
  • Cyclic steam injection
  • Water floods
  • Near-wellbore treatment of gas wells

Win-Win-Win-Win Situation

  • Releases more oil
  • Improves oil mobility
  • Cyclic steam injection
  • Improved oil production
  • Increased recovery of OOIP