A Guide for Selection of Aging Time and Temperature for Wettability Alteration in Various Rock-Oil Systems

Mohammed Ali Al-Ameer, Madhar Sahib Azad*, Dhafer Al-Shehri, Mohamed Mahmoud, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal, Shirish Patil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Wettability alteration has been identified to be one of the important mechanisms to improve the microscopic recovery in many of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods including polymer flood, surfactant flood, low salinity flood, microbial flood, alkaline flood, etc. Ensuring the oil-wet nature of the formation before flooding in the laboratory is necessary to study the efficiency of the EOR process, which targets microscopic recovery through wettability alteration. Nevertheless, altering the wettability depends on several parameters, such as aging time, aging temperature, core nature, oil properties, etc. Although several researchers investigated the effect of individual parameters on wettability alteration, the literature is scarce, and the question of what is the shortest and yet the most reliable aging time for ensuring wettability alteration for the specific rock-oil system at different temperatures remains unclear. This paper attempts to seek an answer to this question by compiling the relevant literature to find the effect of individual parameters such as different aging times, temperatures, oil compositions, and rock lithologies on wettability alteration. Results observed from data analysis showed different windows for aging conditions depending on the core sample lithology, initial wettability, and type of oil used. It was noticed that the higher the asphaltene content in the crude oil used, the lower the time and temperature that it takes to alter the sample wettability. Aging a sandstone core under 80 °C using crude oil with 11 wt % % asphaltene took 7 days to shift the core from strongly water-wet to neutral-wet. The same wettability alteration was achieved in 14 days when aging the sandstone sample at 90 °C using crude oil with 0.85 wt % asphaltene content. Generally, it was observed that the aging time decreased as the temperature increased. Moreover, as the sample has a lower initial water wettability condition, the time that it needs to be aged becomes higher. Results indicated that carbonates in general require less aging time to alter their wettability condition to oil-wet, around 1-7 days, compared with sandstones, around 14-21 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30790-30801
Number of pages12
JournalACS Omega
Issue number34
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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