Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9

SPE 132564

Heavy Oil Production Enhancement by Viscosity Reduction

Patrick Shuler, SPE, ChemEOR, Inc.; Yongchun Tang, Power Environmental Energy Research Institute
(PEERI); and Hongxin Tang, ChemEOR, Inc.

Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Western North America Regional Meeting held in Anaheim, California, USA, 26–30 May 2010..

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not
been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum
Engineers officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited.
Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE

This paper presents an evaluation of different chemical agents that can reduce dramatically the apparent viscosity of a
heavy crude oil or a thick emulsion. The focus of this study is on methods to improve the production of heavy oils and
very viscous emulsions such as are found in California, Canada, and Venezuela. This study identified several surfactant-
demulsifier formulations that can reduce the viscosity of such heavy fluids by as much as 3 orders of magnitude.

If efficient chemical solutions are applied downhole to reduce produced fluids viscosity this offers an economical means to
reduce the energy required to move the oil between the well to the surface facilities, thereby improving well productivity
and reducing lifting costs. It is especially suited for wells that are producing fluids at colder temperatures (less than 150 °F)
that have extreme fluid viscosities (from 10,000 to 100,000 cp); these may be reduced to 100 – 500 cp by gentle mixing
with aqueous-based chemical treatment solutions. Wells with high hydraulic pressures, poor pump efficiencies, or
excessive pressure losses in the facility gathering systems are good candidates for these treatments. Reducing these
extreme viscosities will have benefits such as lowering the power consumption to lift the produced fluids and reduce
system pressures. Chemical costs for such chemical treatments are less than a dollar a barrel of oil, and can be even less
than $0.50 per barrel of heavy oil.

These same or similar chemical systems also may be beneficial for longer distance transportation of heavy oils, as pre-
treatments for cyclic steam treatments, or as additives in the stimulation fluids applied in heavy oil wells. .

This laboratory investigation employed a unique novel viscometer that will measure accurately the effective dynamic
viscosity of multi-phase liquids (emulsions) from several centiposes to thousands of centipoise. This instrument was
developed to overcome the limitations of conventional laboratory viscometers to measure unstable emulsions that may
separate during the measurement process.

The well production, lifting, and transportation of heavy oil and their viscous emulsions are a significant challenge for this
more difficult hydrocarbon resource. Simply put, the viscous nature of these fluids restricts the practical rates of producing
and moving heavy oil fluids, increases the energy costs required to accomplish this, thereby increasing the overall cost of
producing this hydrocarbon.

Some of the major options available for decreasing the viscosity of such heavy oil and their produced emulsions include:
• Increasing the fluid temperature -- for example, steam injection, heated flowlines and pipelines
• Adding a hydrocarbon diluents of low viscosity
• Adding a treatment chemical

The focus of this paper is on the third option; to identify practical chemical treatment systems and application strategies to
decrease heavy fluid viscosity. Practical systems means chemical treatment solutions that may be applied in a routine
manner and also that can be performed at a reasonable cost. One study objective is to identify such candidate chemical
systems that may be mixed into these very viscous fluids and accomplish the viscosity reduction effect at a chemical cost of
approximately $0.50 or less per barrel of oil. The general technical objective is to create a final fluid viscosity that is in the
range of 50 - 500 cp, which can represent 100 times lower or even more than the viscosity at initial conditions.
2 SPE 132564

The authors published a previous paper in which it is demonstrated that a chemical additive at only 200 ppm concentration
added to a waxy crude oil in Indonesia can prevent or delay the onset of a viscous emulsion (Tang et. al., 2003). This
application is to improve the transportation capacity of a 40 km inter-well produced flowline carrying a waxy crude oil and
water that can become very viscous as the temperature falls to be near the pour point of the oil. This ”emulsion preventer”
chemical formulation, for example, created a viscosity very near that of water (1 cp) when the treated crude oil is mixed
with 80% hot water. In contrast, with no addition of the chemical to this waxy oil, the resultant emulsion is measured to be
in excess of 400 cp.

Another example of a chemical additive to improve flow of viscous fluids comes from the Daqing Field in China (Demin,
et.al., 2001). They added what they termed to be Fluid Phase Conversion Agents into oil-water mixtures where the crude is
falling below its pour point. Their laboratory and field experience show reduced fluid viscosity and a lower tendency for
the oil to stick to the pipe wall by adding 50 – 150 ppm of this agent. To be effective, however, this required that the water
cut be above 40%. The mechanism postulated for this product is to decrease the water cut required to achieve a water
external emulsion. Other investigators (Bertero, et. al., 1994, Browne, et. al., 1996, Mouritis, et. al., 1987, and Sharma, et.
al. 1996) also present other aqueous chemical systems that act to interact with heavy crude oils and their emulsions to
promote the creation of a low viscosity water external fluid or a fluid in which the water phase disperses the heavy oil and
can aid transport. In these instances the water cut also must be 40% or more for the added chemical to be able to create a
water-external emulsion. The obvious benefits of using such a treatment fluid include reducing the power required to lift
the heavy oil and decreasing the pressures in the production system. These particular literature examples are taken from
cases in Western Canada, India, and Alaska.

While the focus of this investigation is about chemicals additives (surfactants-demulsifier aqueous formulations) for the
specific purpose of thinning these viscous oils and their emulsions, there is another application for surfactant chemicals for
heavy oil reservoirs that has received considerable attention. There has been extensive literature and interest about
surfactant systems for the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) of heavier crude oils (Bryan and Kantzas, 2008, Bryan, Kantas,
and Ma, 2009, Liu, et. al., 2008). The chemical formulations presented here with a viscosity reduction feature could be
applicable also as injection water additives for purposes of EOR. The literature about surfactant-alkaline systems for EOR
for heavy oil reservoirs focus on recovery mechanisms of low IFT, emulsification of crude into the aqueous phase to reduce
its mobility, and wetting effects that can aid in lifting the heavy oil away from the reservoir sand grains.

Experimental Procedures
Crude Oils:
Heavy crude oils were selected from different locations to include in this study (Table 1). These include samples from
California and Venezuela. These all fit within the classification as heavy oils, with dead oil viscosities at room temperature
ranging from about 5,000 – 50,000 cp. These oils are representative of crude oils from each of these major heavy oil
producing regions.

More than 25 different chemical formulations were prepared and screened for their ability to reduce the apparent viscosity
of heavy oils and thick emulsions. Several of these had promising initial behavior and underwent more detailed evaluation
as heavy oil viscosity reducing agents. The raw materials for these proprietary formulations came from different classes of
surfactants and demulsifiers

Quantitative Viscosity Measurements:

Some simple fluids such as the crude oils had viscosity measured via a Brookfield viscometer.
A customized laboratory instrument was used to measure the apparent viscosity of emulsions. The motivation for building
and operating a custom device for viscosity measurements instead of a standard Brookfield viscometer is that the standard
laboratory instrument is not suitable in the case of unstable emulsions. If such a mixed oil-water fluid is loaded into a
Brookfield viscometer the nature of the emulsion may change during the measurement process, in particular there may be
some phase separation or other change in the nature of the mixed fluid.
This novel device is based on the principle of the precise measurement of very small torques. That is, the apparent fluid
viscosity of the mixed fluid is related to the torque created as the impeller is rotated at a fixed speed. A higher torque
measurement at the same rotation speed indicates a higher viscosity. The device is calibrated with viscosity standard fluids
(from Cannon) to develop the relationship between measured torque and fluid viscosity at several different impeller
rotational speeds.

The apparatus (Figures 1 and 2) consists of a small beaker (10 ml) into which is suspended a multi-blade impeller. The
fluid is added (5 ml or more) into the beaker to cover completely the impeller. The impeller is rotated at a fixed rpm and
the sensor electronics provide a very sensitive measurement of the torque imposed on the impeller.
SPE 132564 3

This device has several advantages for the emulsion viscosity measurements of this study:
• The mixing action imposed by the impeller stirring the fluid maintains a homogeneous mixture; the measured
viscosity quickly attains an equilibrium value.
• The instrument is suitable for measurement of fluid viscosity over the range of interest -- 100 – 100,000 cp.
• The “tip speed” of the impeller (linear velocity at the end of each blade) serves as a proxy for the shear action
imposed on that fluid at a similar velocity in a pipe flow. That is, one can relate the measured viscosity in the
torque viscometer to the expected apparent viscosity in a pipe flow with that average velocity.
• The quantity of test fluid required is very small (less than 10 ml).
• The small beaker sits in a water bath and so it is easy to measure viscosity over a wide range of temperatures.

This same torque viscometer device was applied very successfully in the cited study performed earlier for an Indonesian
waxy crude oil (Tang, et. al., 2003). In this previous paper it is demonstrated that the results obtained from this small
laboratory instrument for oil-water mixtures matched very well to the viscosity results obtained on a flow loop device. This
good comparison of measured fluid viscosities between the torque viscometer and a 1-inch diameter flow loop is shown in
Figure 3. The detected viscosity at a given impeller tip speed is very close to that determined in the flow loop at of the
same average pipe velocity. The feature of low sample volume and convenient measurements for the torque viscometer
were especially valuable in this study. Each flow loop run required multiple gallons of crude oil instead of no more than 20
ml. Many chemical formulations and different process conditions could be tested in a single day with the torque
viscometer whereas at most only one flow loop test could be performed in that time.

For the emulsion samples in this current study the oil and aqueous phases may be mixed very gently by hand and then
added to the small measurement beaker. Then the impeller is engaged at a selected rotation speed and the torque developed
is recorded. The system is allowed several minutes to reach temperature and flow equilibrium conditions in the device
before taking a final torque reading. It is also possible to pre-mix the oil and aqueous phase together with a homogenizer at
a high speed to induce a starting emulsion more representative of a fluid after being exposed to high shear conditions such
as from fast flow through wellbore perforations or through a downhole pump.

Results and Discussion

Effect of Water Content on Emulsion Viscosity
Figure 4 presents viscosity data measured for a mixture of crude oil B1 and different percentages of added fresh water. As
expected, the mixture viscosity increases with an increase in the water content - at least over the range shown of 20-50%.
This increase in system viscosity with increasing water content is a common phenomenon, perhaps first quantified by
Woelfin (Woelfin, 1942). At some very high water cut (typically 80% or even greater) you reach an inversion point such
that the external phase switches from oil to water. Once water is the external phase this causes a dramatic decrease in the
apparent viscosity of the water and oil mixture.

Screening Chemical Formulations for Viscosity Reduction Effectivness:

Figure 5 and 6 illustrate a convenient experiment to test different chemical formulations as candidates as viscosity reducers
for a particular oil. This simple method is to examine visually the capability of a heavy crude oil to flow at room
temperature, and then compare its behavior after adding a candidate treatment solution. In extreme cases the difference is
quite clear. Figure 5 shows crude oil B4 as is. When scooping out a spatula full of this very viscous crude (circa 45,000
cp) and allowing it to drain by gravity it is very apparent that this is an extremely viscous fluid. After adding an aqueous
solution of an effective chemical solution (in this case, an aqueous phase content of 20%, 2000 ppm of Chemical
Formulation 1, a concentration of 400 ppm basis the total fluid) and performing a very slow stirring motion to mix into the
crude oil, the fluid appears much thinner based on its quick drainage from the spatula. Subsequent measurements showed
the treated oil had a reduced viscosity of less than 200 cp. Heavy oil V1 also responds in a similar fashion of reducing its
viscosity very significantly when mixing in an aqueous Chemical Formulation 1 solution. While very promising, Chemical
Formulation 1 may not be a practical treatment fluid. This formulation requires an alkaline additive to be effective, so there
would be a concern for poentail calcium carbonate scaling if one applies this system in wells that have a co-produced brine
containing significant hardness.

The next tests employed the torque viscometer to measure over 20 different candidate chemical formulations to identify
best candidates for further study as effective viscosity reduction agents. Table 2 shows Chemical Formulation 2 and 3 are
both effective under these test conditions for crude oils B1 and B2. The many other chemical formulation tested had little
positive effect, or even increased the apparent viscosity slightly. These other inactive formulations were discarded from
further consideration. Results are discussed below for testing of these Chemical Formulations 2 and 3 with crude ols B1
and B2. These same formulations were not very effective versus the other crude oils. This points out the difficulty in
developing a single effective viscosity reducing agent; formulations need to be tuned for different crude oils.
4 SPE 132564

Impact of Different Parameters on the Viscosity Reduction Effect:

Concentration of Chemical Treatment
There is only some marginal benefit of increasing the chemical dosage beyond 400 ppm in the added aqueous solution for
this case (Table 3). Basically, once enough chemical is present to invert the mixture to a water external state, the final
viscosity is low and similar. Beyond that, increasing the chemical dosage further has only a minor impact on the viscosity
of the entire mixture.
Table 4 shows that there is some small benefit if the chemical dosage is increased beyond 400 ppm in the
treatment solution. This is for the case of a very viscous starting emulsion. Note that in the most extreme case at 25 °C an
emulsion of 20% initial water with a viscosity in excess of 100,000 cp becomes only 500 cp with the addition of another
20% water containing within it as little as 400 ppm of the Chemical Formulation 3 (equivalent to a total fluid concentration
of less than 100 ppm). Increasing the dosage of the chemical to 1000 ppm in the treatment solution resulted in final
mixture viscosities to become less than 200 ppm.
Effect of Water Salinity
There is a similar result of final treated solution viscosity with salt water (3% NaCl) as the makeup water for the Chemical
Formulation 3 as with fresh water (Table 5). It is speculated that this needs to be considered case by case. First of all any
treatment chemical will have to be compatible with its make-up water and also brine mixtures it may encounter when
applied in the field. In addition, the performance of a given additive can depend on the local salinity environment. These
effects may be studied easily before actual field implementation.
Effect of Added Water Cut
Table 6 shows there is little or no change in the final mixture viscosity with a change in the volume of added Chemical
Formulation 3 aqueous solution. Added treatment volumes of 20% to 50% created final viscosities that are very similar.
So beyond the 20% added water volume formulation that creates the low viscosity water-external emulsion, there is no
obvious benefit to adding more volume of the Chemical Formulation 3 solution. The Table 6 also shows that the Chemical
Formulation 2 also has a substantial effect in reducing the original viscosity, but not quite to the same degree as the other
Chemical Formulation 3.
Effect of Temperature
The data from all of the measurements in Tables 3 – 6 make a strong case that the chemical treatment process has the most
benefit for colder temperature applications. This is because 1) the heavy oil (or its initial state as an oil-external emulsion)
is highly sensitive to temperature, and so has extremely high viscosity when it is at room temperature or colder, and 2) an
effective chemical formulation reduces the apparent fluid viscosity to the same low levels, regardless of temperature. That
is, good treatment formulations provide the largest absolute decrease where the initial heavy oil viscosity has the greatest
potential to decrease.
Effect of Shear Rate
Some of the combinations of chemical treatments and crude oils created mixed fluids with significant shear-thinning
behavior. For example, the Chemical Formulation 1 mixed as 20% fluid aqueous solution into oil B4 makes a thin stable
fluid. The fluid was scanned versus imposed shear rate in a Brookfield viscometer (Figure 9). This illustrates that some of
the created water-external emulsions can have significant shear-thinning behavior. Examination of data from Table 4 and
other data (not shown) indicate a lesser dependence of the viscosity of the treated emulsion with shear rate.
Other Treatment Considerations:
One aspect also important to applying these treatment chemicals is their possible side-effects downstream from their
introduction into heavy oil viscous fluids. For example, one item is the effect on oil-water separation. Some of these
products and systems are inherently unstable, and so are better suited as agents to provide effective viscosity reduction,
followed by rapid oil-water fluid separation once reaching the facilities. As with the ability to create a low viscosity
emulsion, this property seems to be on a case by case basis with a particular chemical agent and crude oil. For example,
Chemical Formulation 4 in a small quantity is especially effective with the oil B4. Addition of only a 1.3% Chemical
Formulation 4 at a 2% active concentration to this crude oil at room temperature reduces the fluid viscosity from 45,000 cp
to approximately 1500 cp. The resultant mixture breaks by itself at room temperature within 2 hours. Other specific
treatment chemical and oil systems also resolve themselves quickly with a modest increase in fluid temperature or adjusting
the demulsifer treatment.
Applications and Implications:
Some of the attributes of heavy production wells that could benefit the most from a strategy of viscosity reduction via
mixing with dilute aqueous treatment systems include:

• Already are being treated with hydrocarbon diluents. An aqueous based chemical treatment system should have
lower material cost.
SPE 132564 5

• Wells that exhibit symptoms of production being limited due to having to lift viscous fluids. These include high
fluid levels, rod fall problems, poor pump efficiency, or excessive pressures in the gathering system. Even just
modest increases in the oil production may pay for a treatment program.
• Reduced viscosity can allow substitution to a more cost efficient pump. For example, with a lower viscosity
created one may be able to select a lower overall cost ESP rather than having to use a PCP.
• Pumps with high power consumption will benefit with lifting lower viscosity fluids.
• High maintenance wells that may benefit with more trouble free operation due to viscosity reduction.
Other potential advantage of this approach is that the capital costs can be small and the process can be implemented easily.
In addition, and the response and the benefits from the treatment will be seen almost immediately; the process can be fine-
tuned and optimized quickly.
Another aspect to this technology is that it may be expanded from being practiced just in the wellbore or surface facilities
to applications for the reservoir. For example, these same or similar agents may be included in well stimulations, perhaps
as a spearhead to gain penetration of the stimulation fluids through the heavy oil into the reservoir. These fluids also can be
considered as waterflood additives to help to displace heavy residual oil near the injector wellbore via a viscosity reduction
mechanism and so as a technique to increase the well injectivity.

1. Aqueous surfactant/demulsifier formulations identified in this study can reduce dramatically the viscosity of heavy oils
and their emulsions. The chemical formulation that is effective will vary, depending on the crude oil being treated.
2. To be effective, the added aqueous treatment solution is 20% or more of the total amount of the fluid. Dosages of
added chemical may be effective at dosages as low as 100 ppm based on the oil volume and incur a chemical cost of
$0.50 or even less.
3. It is most beneficial to use this chemical treatment approach for colder temperatures where the starting fluid viscosity is
between 5,000 and 100,000 cp; this provides the largest percentage decrease from the starting viscosity with an
optimized chemical formulation.
4. Better candidate wells for using these chemical treatments include locations where the produced fluids have very high
viscosity and that this physical property significantly restricts well productivity.
5. A novel torque viscosity measurement device provides an accurate and convenient method to determine the viscosity of
emulsions over a wide range of temperatures, shear rates, and mixture viscosities.

The authors thank ChemEOR, Inc. for their permission to publish this work.

1. Bertero, L., DiLullo, A., Lentini, A., and Terzi,L.,An Innovtive Way TpProduce and Transport Heavy Oil Through Dispersion in Water: Laboratory
and Field Test Results, paper SPE 28543 presented at SPE 69th Annual Techniucal Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, LA, 25-28 September
2. Browne, G.E., Hass, G.R., and Sell, R.D., Downhole Emulsification: Viscosity Reduction Increaes Production, J. Canadian Pet.. Eng., Vol 35,
Number 4, April 1996.
3. Bryan, J. and Kantzas, A., Potential for Alkali-Surfactant Flooding in Heavy Oil Reservoirs Through Oil-in-Water Emulsification, J. Canadian Pet..
Eng., Vol 42, Number 2, February 2009.
4. Bryan, J, Mai, A., and Kantzas, A., Investigation into the Processes Responsible for Heavy Oil Recovery by Alkali-Surfactant Flooding, paper
SPE 113993, SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, 20-23 April 2008.
5. Demin, W., et. al., Large Scale Field Gathering of Oil-Water-Gas at TemperatureBelow the Pour Point of Crude Oil Successful”, paper SPE 71471,
presented at at the 2001 SPE AnnualTechnicalConference, New Orleans, LA, 30 September – 2 October 2001.
6. Liu, Q., Dong, M., and Ma, S., Alkaline/Surfactant Flood Potential in Western Canadian Heavy Oil Reservoirs, paper SPE 99791presented at 16th
SPE/DOE IOR Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 20-23 April 2008.
7. Mouritis, F.M., Kurucz, L. and Scoular, R.J., Heavy Oil Emulsion Research at Saskatchewan Research Council, J. Canadian Pet.. Eng., Vol 25,
Number 5, May 1987.
8. Sharma, K., et. al., Pipeline Transportation of Heavy/Viscous Crude Oil as Water Continuos Emulsion in North Cambay Basin (India), paper
SPE 39537, presented at India Oil and Gas Conference and Ehibition, New Delhi, India, 17-19 February 1996.
9. Singh,P., Thomason, W.H., Gharfeh, S., Nathanson, L.D., and Blumer, D.J., Flow Properties of Alaskan Heavy-Oil Emulsions, paper SPE 90627
presented at the Annual Techniucal Conference and Exhibition, Houston,TX,26-29 September 2004.
10. Tang, Y., Shuler,P.J., Cheng,S.K., Goodgame, J.A., Hsu,J.J., and Padila, A.V., Improved Transportation of Waxy CrudeOils and Emulsions in
Bekasap Area, Indonesia, SPE 80243 presented at the SPE International Symposium on Oilfiled Chemistry, Houston, Texas, 5-8 February 2003.
11. Woelfin, W.M., Engineering and Operating Sections, 35, March 19, 1942).
12 . Xie, J, Chung, B., Leung, L., Design and Implementation of a Caustic Flooding EOR Pilot at Court Bakken Heavy Oil Reservoir,
International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium, , Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 20-23 October 2008.
6 SPE 132564

Table 1. Crude Oils Used in Laboratury Study of Viscosity Reduction

API Gravity,
Crude Oil Name Location Dead Oil Viscosity at 25 °C
B1 California – Bakersfield 9.3 52700
B2 California - Bakersfield 11.2 15800
B3 California – Bakersfield 15.7 1600
B4 California – Bakersfield 10.4 44000
V1 Venezuela 11.1 27000

Table 2. Chemical Screening Test Using Torque Viscometer

Chemical Viscosity (cp)

None, Oil B1 2830
2 300
3 200
.5 - 25 1900 - 3750

Test Conditions: Oil:Chemical Solution weight ratio; 4 : 1

1000 ppm of chemical in fresh water
Temperature: 50°C Impeller 437 rpm, tip speed 0.85 ft/sec

Table 3. Addtion of Chemical Solution 3 to Oil B2 --

Effect of Treatment Dosage

Tmeperature, deg 400 ppm* 600 ppm* 1000 ppm*

Oil B2
Centigrade (80 ppm)** (120 ppm)** (200 ppm)**
25 15800 300 180 250
30 8800 180 320 240
35 4800 180 260 240
40 2800 260 200 190
50 1100 180 180 180

Test Conditions: Oil:Chemical Solution weight ratio; 80 : 20

Chemical Formulation 3 in fresh water
Impeller 700 rpm, tip speed 1.35 ft/sec
*Chemical 3 Formulation concentration in water,
**Chemical 3 Formulation concentration, basis total fluid
SPE 132564 7

Table 4. Addtion of Chemical Solution 3 to Oil B1 Emulsions --

Effect of Treatment Dosage

400 ppm* (80 ppm)** 1000 ppm* (200 ppm)**

Tmeperature, Oil B1 +
450 rpm 700 rpm 450 rpm 700 rpm
deg Centigrade 20% Water
25 107000 500 500 320 340
30 55800 500 500 180 300
35 31000 510 280 180 280
40 17200 240 240 190 280
50 6400 180 190 180 180

Test Conditions: Oil:Initial Water:Chemical Solution weight ratios; 60:20:20

Chemical Formulation 3 in fresh water
Impeller 450 rpm, tip speed 0.85 ft/sec, 700 rpm, tip speed 1.35 ft/sec
*Chemical 3 Formulation concentration in added water,
**Chemical 3 Formulation concentration, basis total fluid

Table 5. Addtion of 1000 ppm Chemical Solution 3 to Oil B2 --

Effect of Chemical Make-Up Water

Oil B2 Fresh Water 3% NaCl
deg Centigrade
25 15800 250 180
30 8800 240 320
35 4800 240 260
40 2800 190 210
50 1100 180 180

Test Conditions: Oil:Chemical Solution weight ratio; 4 : 1

Impeller 700 rpm, tip speed 1.35 ft/sec

Table 6. Addtion of 400 ppm Chemical Solution 2 and 3 to Oil B2 --

Effect of Treatment Solution Volume

Tmeperature, 20% 30% 40% 50% 50%

Oil B2
deg Centigrade Water Water Water Water Water
25 15800 300 400 300 200 450
30 8800 180 350 200 200 350
35 4800 180 300 180 180 350
40 2800 260 200 180 180 300
50 1100 180 180 180 180 180

Test Conditions: Chemical Formulations 2 snd 3 at 400 ppp in fresh water

Impeller 700 rpm, tip speed 1.35 ft/sec
8 SPE 132564

Figure 1. Photograph of torque viscometer. Figure 2. Close up view of beaker with heavy oil emulsion.
Left side – before mixing; Right side – fluids mixing

Viscosity of Heavy Oil B1 and Its Emulsions
Viscosity, cp
Weight %
Fresh Water
100000 20%
10000 40%


20 40 60 80 100
Temperature, deg Centigrade

Figure 3. Comparison of torque viscometer and flow Figure 4. Increasing percentage of water content increases
loop viscosirty measurements the apparent viscosity of oil-water mixture

Figure 5. Very slow drainage of heavy crude oil B4 from spatula. Figure 6. After addition of Chemical Formulation 1
Viscosity approximately 45,000 at room temperature. and slow stirring the fluid drains much
faster from the spatula. Final viscosity
is less than 300 cp.
SPE 132564 9

Reduced Viscosity of a Dry Ol by Addition of 20% Reduced Viscosity of O/W 80/20 Emulsion --- Addition of 20%
Water and 400 ppm Chemical (basis total volume) More Water and 400 ppm Chemical (basis total volume)


) ) 10000
p p
( Treated
Treated (c
it 1000 ty
s s
o o
c c
is is 1000

100 100
10 20 30 40 50 60 10 20 30 40 50 60

Temperature (Centigrade) Temperature (Centigrade)

Figure 7. Viscosity of Oil B3 and after treated with 20% water Figure 8. Viscosity of Oil 3:20% water emulsion and
solution with Chemical 4 (400 ppm total fluids). with treatment by Chemical 4 iin 20%

Viscosity of 45,000 cp Heavy Oil After



P 40
s 30
V 20


0.1 1 10 100

Shear Rate, sec-1

Figure 9. Viscosity of Oil B4 and after treated with 20% water

solution with Chemical 4 (400 ppm total fluids).