Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 304312, 11 pages
Research Article

Mysteries behind the Low Salinity Water Injection Technique

Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

Received 25 October 2013; Accepted 22 April 2014; Published 25 May 2014

Academic Editor: Alireza Bahadori

Copyright © 2014 Emad Waleed Al-Shalabi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Low salinity water injection (LSWI) is gaining popularity as an improved oil recovery technique in both secondary and tertiary injection modes. The objective of this paper is to investigate the main mechanisms behind the LSWI effect on oil recovery from carbonates through history-matching of a recently published coreflood. This paper includes a description of the seawater cycle match and two proposed methods to history-match the LSWI cycles using the UTCHEM simulator. The sensitivity of residual oil saturation, capillary pressure curve, and relative permeability parameters (endpoints and Corey’s exponents) on LSWI is evaluated in this work. Results showed that wettability alteration is still believed to be the main contributor to the LSWI effect on oil recovery in carbonates through successfully history matching both oil recovery and pressure drop data. Moreover, tuning residual oil saturation and relative permeability parameters including endpoints and exponents is essential for a good data match. Also, the incremental oil recovery obtained by LSWI is mainly controlled by oil relative permeability parameters rather than water relative permeability parameters. The findings of this paper help to gain more insight into this uncertain IOR technique and propose a mechanistic model for oil recovery predictions.