Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7171957, 9 pages
Review Article

A Review on the Progress of Ion-Engineered Water Flooding

The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Correspondence should be addressed to Nithin Chacko Thomas

Received 31 July 2016; Revised 17 October 2016; Accepted 27 October 2016; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Andrea Franzetti

Copyright © 2017 Alibi Kilybay 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.


In the oil and gas industry, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) plays a major role to meet the global requirement for energy. Many types of EOR are being applied depending on the formations, fluid types, and the condition of the field. One of the latest and promising EOR techniques is application of ion-engineered water, also known as low salinity or smart water flooding. This EOR technique has been studied by researchers for different types of rocks. The mechanisms behind ion-engineered water flooding have not been confirmed yet, but there are many proposed mechanisms. Most of the authors believe that the main mechanism behind smart water flooding is the wettability alteration. However, other proposed mechanisms are interfacial tension (IFT) reduction between oil and injected brine, rock dissolution, and electrical double layer expansion. Theoretically, all the mechanisms have an effect on the oil recovery. There are some evidences of success of smart water injection on the field scale. Chemical reactions that happen with injection of smart water are different in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. It is important to understand how these mechanisms work. In this review paper, the possible mechanisms behind smart water injection into the carbonate reservoir with brief history are discussed.