Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Chair in Petroleum Engineering



+44 (0)20 7594 6500m.blunt Website




2.38ARoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Akai, T and Alhammadi, AM and Blunt, MJ and Bijeljic, B},
doi = {10.1007/s11242-019-01336-5},
journal = {Transport in Porous Media},
pages = {731--749},
title = {Mechanisms of microscopic displacement during enhanced oil recovery in mixed-wet rocks revealed using direct numerical simulation},
url = {},
volume = {130},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We demonstrate how to use numerical simulation models directly on micro-CT images to understand the impact of several enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods on microscopic displacement efficiency. To describe the physics with high-fidelity, we calibrate the model to match a water-flooding experiment conducted on the same rock sample (Akai et al. in Transp Porous Media 127(2):393–414, 2019. First we show comparisons of water-flooding processes between the experiment and simulation, focusing on the characteristics of remaining oil after water-flooding in a mixed-wet state. In both the experiment and simulation, oil is mainly present as thin oil layers confined to pore walls. Then, taking this calibrated simulation model as a base case, we examine the application of three EOR processes: low salinity water-flooding, surfactant flooding and polymer flooding. In low salinity water-flooding, the increase in oil recovery was caused by displacement of oil from the centers of pores without leaving oil layers behind. Surfactant flooding gave the best improvement in the recovery factor of 16% by reducing the amount of oil trapped by capillary forces. Polymer flooding indicated improvement in microscopic sweep efficiency at a higher capillary number, while it did not show an improvement at a low capillary number. Overall, this work quantifies the impact of different EOR processes on local displacement efficiency and establishes a workflow based on combining experiment and modeling to design optimal recovery processes.
AU - Akai,T
AU - Alhammadi,AM
AU - Blunt,MJ
AU - Bijeljic,B
DO - 10.1007/s11242-019-01336-5
EP - 749
PY - 2019///
SN - 0169-3913
SP - 731
TI - Mechanisms of microscopic displacement during enhanced oil recovery in mixed-wet rocks revealed using direct numerical simulation
T2 - Transport in Porous Media
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 130
ER -