This study focuses on identifying the crucial physical and chemical factors, such as gravity, initial oil phase, injection depth, vertical to horizontal permeability contrast, and salinity of injected water for improving oil recovery factor during water alternating gas (WAG) injection. The conventional WAG injection attracts interest from oil and gas industry and hence, has become one of the most reliable enhanced oil recoveries (EOR) techniques. During WAG injection, due to gravity effect, water subsides below oil layer while gas overflow above the oil layer. In fact, water sweeps bottom zones of the reservoir and gas sweeps the attic oil at the upper zones of the reservoir.
Although the conventional WAG does improve oil recovery factor, there still remains a substantial amount of oil in reservoir pores due to rock-fluid and fluid-fluid interfacial tensions (IFT) that leads to the capillary forces impeding the microscopic displacement efficiency. The low salinity waterflooding (LSWF) was therefore proposed to break the IFT between rock clay and fluids, and further increase oil recovery factor. Recent researches revealed that LSWF alters oil-wet reservoir to water-wet behavior. This wettability alteration is believed to be the main mechanism of LSWF to improve oil recovery. Other mechanisms of LSWF include multi-ion exchange (MIE) between rock clay minerals and injected salt water, pH increase, and fines migration. In this study, the CMG GEM simulator was used to simulate conventional WAG injection and LSWAG injection. The simulation results showed that there is an increase of oil recovery factor of about 6% for WAG injection with low salinity water of 1027ppm to sea water of 51,346 ppm. The simulations have also showed that the physical factors namely, gravity, initial oil phase, injection depth, vertical to horizontal permeability contrast are influential on the displacement efficiency and must be studied thoroughly in the design of LSWAG operations besides the salinity and chemical composition of the injection water.