Document Type


Publication Date



Both primary and conventional secondary recovery methods can approximately produce 35% of the original oil in place (OOIP). Application of nanotechnology in the petroleum industry has already drawn attention for its great potential of enhancing oil recovery. In the last few years, some publications have already addressed this topic, but its mechanism to enhance oil recovery has not been released very clearly. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of Fe 2O3 nanoparticles to improve oil recovery. This paper also aims to investigate the reason behind this improvement in oil recovery. A series of sandpack flooding runs were conducted to study the effect of Fe 2O3 nanoparticles concentration in the displacing brine on wettability alteration, oil viscosity, interfacial tension, and finally the ultimate recovery factor. Fe2O3 nanoparticles were prepared in four different concentrations (0.005, 0.01, 0.1 and 1 wt. %) using sonication method. Then Fe2O3 nanoparticles used for flooding in a sand pack model after saturation of brine and crude oil respectively. The crude oil supplied from the western desert in Egypt with API= 30.749º. All nanoparticles have the same size of 5.0 nm. The base run was performed using conventional water flooding. The ultimate recovery factor by water flooding was 50.4 % of the OOIP. Results have proved an enormous improvement in the recovery factor that reaches 70 % of the OOIP by using Fe2O3 nanoparticles at a concentration of 0.01 wt%. Moreover, the effect of Fe2O3nanoparticles on oil viscosity, interfacial tension, and wettability alteration was investigated. Finally, an economic study was conducted through a comparison between Fe2O3 nanoparticles flooding and conventional water flooding.