• Erle Donaldson, Professor Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
  • Waqi Alam

The wettability of oil reservoirs is the most important factor controlling the rate of oil recovery, providing a profound effect on petroleum production. The petroleum industry has increased the research effort on wettability, but, so far, there has never been a comprehensive book on the topic. This is the first book to go through all of the major research and applications on wettability, capillary pressure and improved recovery. Critical topics including core preservation, the effect of wettability on relative permeability, surface forces such as van der Waals equation of state, petroleum traps and pore size effects are all included in this musthave handbook. Deciphering the techniques and examples will increase the efficiency and production of oil recovery, translating to stronger reservoir simulations and improved well production.
View full description


Book information

  • Published: November 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-799990-6

Table of Contents



About the Authors

1 Wettability

The Four States of Wettability

Water-Wet System




Interfacial Tension

Contact Angle

Advancing and Receding Contact Angles

Core Preservation

Capillary Pressure

Amott Wettability Index

Combined Amott-USBM Wettability Test

Spontaneous Imbibition

Oil Recovery by Imbibition


Effect of Wettability on Relative Permeability

Effect of Wettability on Waterfloods


Production Curves

Effects of Viscosity

Effects of Wettability on Electrical Properties

Dispersion and Wettability




Influence of Wettability

Example Problems

2 Surface Forces


Van der Waals Equation of State

Electrostatic Interactive Energies

Dielectric Media

Principle Interactive Forces

Short-Range Forces

London Dispersion Forces

Dipole Forces

Keesom Dipole-Dipole Forces

Debye-Induced Dipole Interactions

Van der Waals Forces

Zeta Potential and the Electric Double Layer Interaction

DLVO (Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, and Overbeek) Theory

Hamaker Constant

Disjoining Pressure

Electrostatic Forces

Poisson-Boltzman Equation

Counterion Density with Respect to Distance (Diffuse Double Layer)

Osmotic Repulsion Pressure

Hydration Forces

Disjoining Pressure and the Canonical Potential

Hydrogen Bonding

Summary of Interactive Forces

Lewis Acid/Base Reactions

Solvent Behavior

Solid Surface Interactions with Solutions

Clay Swelling and Particle Movement

Crude Oil/Solid Surface Interactions

Example Problems

3 Wettability and Production

Introduction. Origin and Accumulation of Hydrocarbons

Petroleum Traps

Primary Migration

Secondary Migration

Buoyant Forces

Capillary Forces

Earth Tides and Secondary Migration

Accumulation of Hydrocarbons in Traps

Subsurface Environment

Pore Surface Properties

Multiphase Flow

Vertical Saturation Profile

Fractured Reservoirs

Mobility Ratio

Fractional Flow Equation

Frontal Advance Equation

Impact of Wettability on Waterfloods

Example Problems

4 Pore Size Effects and Wettability Alteration



Pore Structure

Pore Texture


Carbonate Rocks

Pore Size Distribution

Permeability from Pore Size Distributions

Carman-Kozeny Equation

Flow Properties of Porous Media

Wettability Alteration

Polar Compounds in Crude Oils

Alkaline Compounds

Capillary Number


Wettability Alteration Caused by Microbes

Chemistry of Silica Sand

Chemistry of Limestone, Chalk and Dolomite

Properties of Crude Oils that Affect Wettability

Asphaltene Solvency of Crude Oils

Adsorption on Reservoir Rocks

Summary and General Conclusions

Example Calculations

5 Practical Applications of Wettability


Wettability and Primary and Secondary Recovery Efficiency

Wettability and Tertiary Recovery Efficiency

Thermally-Induced Wettability Alteration for Improved Recovery

Ghaba North Field

Qarn Alam Field

Preventing Adverse Wettability Shift during Enhanced Recovery Process

Field Test of the CaCO3 Deposition Process at Elk Point Thermal Pilot

Improved Oil Recovery by Altering Wettability by Chemical Injection

Determination of Applicability of Wettability Reversal

Effect of Drilling and Completion Fluids on Wellbore Wettability and Its Stability

Minimizing Formation Damage by Controlling Wettability

Example Problems

6 Fortran Computer Programs



Two-Phase Fractional Flow

Pore Size Distribution

Pores Size Distribution

Permeability Estimation

Relative Permeability

USBM Wettability Index

A Front Tracking Program