Investigation of Stability and Rheology of Produced Heavy-Oil Emulsions Formed due to Steam Injection

Document Type : Research Paper


Petroleum Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Safat, Kuwait


Water in oil emulsion is consider one of the major challenges encountered during production of heavy oil or when applying enhanced oil recovery techniques whether thermal or chemical. In this study stability and rheological properties of hot and cold produced heavy oil emulsions formed due to steam injection processes in Kuwaiti reservoirs were investigated thoroughly over a wide range of operation conditions. The effects of temperature, shear rates, and water cuts on the physical and chemical behaviors of the heavy oil emulsions were examined experimentally in detail. The results showed that cold-produced heavy oil emulsion (CP-HO) is more stable than hot produced heavy oil emulsions (HP-HO) because of its high salinity concentrations and low resin/asphaltene (R/A) ratios, and low PH value. Moreover, a new emulsion viscosity correlation was developed using the experimental data. The proposed model was validated against existed models. The results showed that the developed correlation i more applicable than the existed one in predicting the viscosity of heavy oil emulsions with a percentage of deviation almost less than 5 %.


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