EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Effects of pore-throat structure on reservoir blockage and wettability alteration during CO2 injection

Qian Wang1, Paul Glover2, and Piroska Lorinczi2
Qian Wang et al.
  • 1China University of Petroleum, Beijing, BEIJING, China (
  • 2School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds (,

Injection of CO2 into subsurface reservoirs occurs during Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and also during Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) operations. During CO2 injection, the efficacy and distribution of fluid flow in sandstone reservoirs is controlled by the pore-throat microstructure of the rock. Furthermore, CO2 injection promotes asphaltene precipitation on the pore surface and can also affect fluid flow in the pore throats, decreasing the permeability and altering reservoir wettability. In this work, miscible and immiscible CO2 flooding experiments under reservoir conditions (up to 70℃, 18 MPa) have been carried out on four samples with very similar permeabilities but different pore-throat structures in order to study the effects of pore-throat microstructure on formation damage. The features of pore-throat structure were evaluated by fractal theory, based on pore size distributions and rate-controlled porosimetry (RCP) mercury intrusion curves. Reservoir rocks with smaller pore throat sizes and more heterogeneous and poorer pore-throat microstructures were found to be more sensitive to asphaltene precipitation, with corresponding 15-20% lower oil recovery and 4-7% greater decreases in permeability than that of rocks with homogeneous and better pore-throat microstructure. However, the water-wettability index of cores with larger and more connected pore-throat microstructures was found to drop by an extra 15-25% than heterogeneous core due to more asphaltene precipitation caused by the larger sweep volume of injected CO2 they consequently experienced, which is a disadvantage for EOR. In addition, immiscible flooding exacerbates the differences from 4-7% to 8-15% in permeability decline of the rocks with different pore-throat structures. Miscible flooding leads to more asphaltenes being precipitated from the crude oil, triggering in average an extra 11% change in wettability in comparison to immiscible flooding.


Keywords: CO2 flooding, asphaltene precipitation, pore size distribution, pore-throat microstructure, reservoir blockage, wettability alteration

How to cite: Wang, Q., Glover, P., and Lorinczi, P.: Effects of pore-throat structure on reservoir blockage and wettability alteration during CO2 injection, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-249,, 2019

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 2 – uploaded on 28 Apr 2020 , no comments
change it into PDF
Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 28 Apr 2020 , no comments