Institute of Petroleum Engineering

Project: Low Salinity Water Injection Studies

Low salinity water injection is an emerging EOR method which has recently attracted considerable interest from both research and field application points of view.

Several core flood results have shown that low salinity water injection could (but not always) result in higher oil recovery. However, significant uncertainty still exists over the performance of low salinity and identifying oil reservoirs that positively respond to this technology remains a huge challenge for the industry.

Many mechanisms for additional oil recovery by low salinity water have been hypothesised including: increasing pH leading to in-situ saponification and interfacial tension reduction, emulsion formation, clay migration, multi ionic exchange, and wettability alteration. However, all of these explanations are controversial and many different and sometimes contradictory core flood results have been reported.