The present work investigates potential of nanocomposite (NCP) for enhancing the production in heavy oil formation. NCP was extracted from bauxite ore and the spectral characterization revealed that NCP was a crystalline material whose matrix consists of 64.5 wt.% alumina oxide (Al2O3), 15.7 wt.% iron oxide (Fe2O3), and 19.8 wt.% silica oxide (SiO2). The nanocomposite fluid, obtained by dispersing NCP into the targeted formation brine, showed a good dispersion over the two first days beyond which a hetero-aggregation, visible to the naked eye, was observed. Coreflooding assays, performed on Berea sandstone saturated with a heavy mineral oil (ρ = 0.854 g/cm3), revealed that 0.25wt.% of NCP dispersed in the formation brine yields a poor recovery. However, increasing the load in NCP from 0.25 to 0.75 wt.% and subsequently 1 wt.% using the same formation brine, showed an increase in the oil recovery up to 14.1% after the waterflooding stage. It was further found that the RF could be as high as 18.3% if 0.25 wt.% NCP was dispersed in a surface-active material (Polyvinyl alcohol, PVA in this study). The result was 4% higher than a scenario in which PVA was used alone. Moreover, it was shown that altering the composition of the preflush could increase the production to up to 11.3%. A comparative analysis with single nanoparticle revealed that the EOR using NCP was six-fold higher compared to that of SiO2 taken alone and 1.5-fold lower than those of Al2O3 or Fe2O3 taken alone.
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