Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Abdulrazag Y. Zekri

Second Advisor

Dr. Gamal Alusta

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirish Patil


Water flooding is by far the most common method of improved oil recovery applied in oil reservoirs. Water is the cheapest source of external energy that has been used over decades in water flooding schemes, provided that the damage does not adversely affect its injectivity. Displacement efficiency of water flooding can be significantly affected by crude oil/water/rock interactions. Historically, some consideration was given to such interactions in the practice of reservoir engineering. In recent years, extensive research in this area has documented that higher oil recoveries can be obtained when low-salinity water is injected in a formation with high salinity formation water. Hence, selecting a “smart water” with the proper salinity and ionic composition could be considered as a tertiary recovery fluid. While laboratory tests and historical field evidences validated the observation in carbonate reservoirs, the mechanism behind the observed incremental increase of oil recovery is still a topic of discussion. In this work, selected core samples from a carbonate reservoir were used to run flooding and spontaneous imbibition experiments at reservoir temperature and a potential smart water that could yield maximum oil recovery has been identified. Measurements of endpoint effective permeabilities along which chemical analysis of the effluents at the end of each core flooding test were employed to suggest the likely mechanism for the incremental increase of oil recovery.