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I am working as a petroleum engineer and most of our crude oils are heavy oils (very dense). In reservoir, I want to start an exothermic liquid to gas phase hydrolysis reaction.

I am planning to inject my feed into reservoir from wells and the feed will make the reaction with reservoir brine (There is too much water in the reservoir with oil). With this reaction, I am planning to achieve the followings:

  1. With heat, the viscosity of the crude will decrease and production will increase.
  2. Liquid phase feed is easy to inject and gas phase product (especially $\ce{CO2}$) may be an additional force to increase production, which is called as gas flooding.

I found some reactions like the hydrolysis of $\ce{CaO}$. But here, the feed is in solid phase. The product in this reaction is an alkaline and it may enhance oil recovery by changing the wettability or reducing the interfacial tension between oil and water.

I wonder if there are any other reactions like that.

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  • $\begingroup$ See, heating the reservoir, pressurizing it, and decreasing the surface tension are different things, they are normally achieved by different means, and that's for a reason. You are looking for a reaction that would do all three jobs at once. Guess if you'll find one, it will perform poorly in each. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you are exactly correct. I know that heating in a way (Microwave, steam flooding etc.) is the best solution for our reservoirs. Also, heating will cause the viscosity to decrease and that's the main aim for me. So, I can say that I am looking for an exothermic reaction and water soluble products. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:00

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