Smart Water

Waterflooding is one of the earliest methods used successfully for recovery of oil from petroleum reservoirs. Smart Water is a research project focused on an injection strategy to improve oil recovery primarily in Danish oil reservoirs.

The Smart Water injection is based on the experimental observations that variation of the injected water salinity and of its ion balance may result in additional oil recovery. High salinity waterflooding (with the ions Ca2+, Mg2+ and SO42-) in high temperature chalk reservoirs and low salinity water flooding in sandstone reservoirs are two characteristic examples.

The research involves flow through experiments. Various brines are pushed through a reservoir core using a core flood apparatus (at reservoir conditions). The flooding sequence can be controlled through advanced custom made software. Independent axial and sleeve pressures are applied to simulate real-life stresses at reservoir conditions.

Core holder parts (inlet and outlet) have been fitted with devices for measuring sound velocity and electrical resistivity in order to provide information on possible permeability reduction or fractures. Oil recovery is estimated by analysing the collected effluents by scintillation.

The objectives of the on-going research are the Smart Water effect in different lithologies and the rock –pore water chemical interactions (dissolution, precipitation).

Head of project: Prof. Ida Lykke Fabricius,


Ida Lykke Fabricius
Professor Emerita
DTU Sustain
+45 45 25 21 62