Treating water in heavy oil emulsions with microemulsion fluids ///

The “heavy” nature of crude oil is due primarily to a relatively large proportion of complex, high molecular weight, aromatic and naphthenic compounds, and a relatively small proportion of low carbon number hydrocarbons. Heavy crude oils include asphaltenes, resins, naphthenates, mercaptans and polar compounds, such as carboxylates, that exhibit high interfacial activity and promote interaction between the oil and the water phase, enabling formation of water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions. The emulsified water in the crude oil could be produced water, completion brine, drilling fluids, injection water or a combination of some or all of these.

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