Boosting oil extraction with nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) Researchers from Sahand University of Technology and Islamic Azad University studied the effect of using nanoparticles on increasing oil extraction from reservoirs ("Experimental Study of the Nanoparticles Effect on Surfactant Absorption and Oil Recovery in One of the Iranian Oil Reservoirs").
According to the researchers, the use of nanoparticles increases oil extraction and decreases the costs of the process.
Injection of surfactant to change properties of the reservoir rock and fluid is one of enhanced oil extraction methods. Adsorption of the surfactant on the surface of reservoir rock is one of the most important problems in the injection of surfactant into oil reservoirs.
In this research, nanoparticles have been used as important agents to prevent the adsorption of surfactant on the reservoir rock. To this end, nanoparticles were combined with chemical solution containing surfactant, and flooding tests were carried out to study the effect of nanoparticles on the adsorption of surfactants and enhanced oil extraction.
The researchers found out that the nanoparticles increase the amount of surfactant in the reservoir but decrease surface tension of the injected solution and crude oil. As a result, less surfactant is required for enhanced oil extraction and the oil extraction increases, and finally, costs of enhanced oil extraction decrease.
Based on the results of the research, adsorption of surfactant decreases as the concentration of nanoparticles increases. In addition, it was turned out that at constant concentration of surfactant, 11% increase is observed in the amount of extracted oil by adding nanoparticles to the chemical solution of the reservoir. This amount of extracted oil can significantly affect the production of oil in enhanced oil extraction process taking into consideration the volume of the reservoir.
Source: INIC
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