Mineralogical alterations in calcite powder flooded with MgCl2 to study Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) mechanisms at pore scale

Mona W. Minde, Merete V. Madland, Udo Zimmermann, Nina Egeland, Reidar I. Korsnes, Eizo Nakamura, Katsura Kobayashi, Tsutomu Ota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Seawater injection into chalk-reservoirs on the Norwegian Continental Shelf has increased the oil recovery and reduced seabed subsidence, but not eliminated it. Therefore, understanding rock–fluid interactions is paramount to optimize water injection, predict and control water-induced compaction. Laboratory experiments on onshore and reservoir chalks have shown the need to simplify the aqueous chemistry of the brine, and also the importance of studying the effect of primary mineralogy of chalk to understand which ions interact with the minerals present. In this study, the mineralogy of the samples tested, are simplified. These experiments are carried out on pure calcite powder (99.95%), compressed to cylinders, flooded with MgCl2, at 130 °C and 0.5 MPa effective stress, for 27 and 289 days. The tested material was analysed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, along with whole-rock geochemistry. The results show dissolution of calcite followed by precipitation of magnesite. The occurrence and shape of new-grown crystals depend on flooding time and distance from the flooding inlet of the cylinder. Crystals vary in shape and size, from a few nanometres up to 2 μm after 27 days, and to over 10 μm after 289 days of flooding and may crystallize as a single grain or in clusters. The population and distribution of new-grown minerals are found to be controlled by nucleation- and growth-rates along with advection of the injected fluid through the cores. Our findings are compared with in-house experiments on chalks, and allow for insight of where, when, and how crystals preferentially grow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109402
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Calcite
  • EOR
  • FE-SEM
  • FE-TEM
  • Mineral replacement reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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