Emerging Nanotechnology Applications in the Petroleum Industry

Topics: Nanotechnology, Petroleum, Oil well Pages: 5 (1588 words) Published: January 8, 2013
Nanotech applications & Nanoparticles have been successfully used in drilling mud for the Last 40-50 years. Recently the other disciplines of the oil industry, such as exploration, primary and assisted production, monitoring, refining and distribution, are approaching nanotechnologies due to its immense Potential for Confronting challenges, performance improvement & cost. Especially in ultra-deep water and artic environments, Severe reservoir conditions (high-temperature and high-pressure formations), nonconventional resources of energy,Heavy oils, tight gas, tar sandsreservoirs)

Present nanotech applications in oil industry:
Most of the major oil and service companies, such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Total and Schlumberger.done research in exploiting nanotechnologies to improve oil and gas production. Developing subsurface micro- and nanosensors that could be injected in oil and gas wellbores & identification of nanotech potentialities applied to EOR issues. Recent published results speak about Single-Walled-Carbon-Nano Tube (SWNT) / Silica nanohybrids, active at the fluid interface, if delivered at the O/W interface, would react and modify the oil properties to increase oil mobilization, hence oil recovery. Researchers ars analysing the potential benefits derived by the application of nanomaterials, nanofluids and nanomembranes in oil industry. Sensors: Nanomaterials are unparallelled tools for the development of sensors and imaging-contrast agents due to the significant alterations in their optical, magnetic and electrical properties, along with their ability to form (electrically and/or geometrically) percolated structures at low volume fractions. Such nanomaterials, when combined with smart fluids, can be used as extremely sensitive down hole sensors for temperature, pressure and stress even under extreme conditions. The ultimate evolution of instruments for oil prospects is perceived to be nanorobots, which should really provide an effective mapping of the reservoir. Nanorobots still remain a dream,shared by the medical and oil sectors. But advances in nanosensors miniaturization are becoming a reality. Coatings: A corrosion-resistant material solution represented by nanometric thin films and composites with nanostructured fillers are in the advanced stage. corrosion-resistant materials are the “just ready to happen ” nanotechnology-based applications,due to its relatively low risk, high effectiveness and low complexity. Nanocoated, wear-resistant probes, made of tungsten carbide or boron nitride, enhance the life span and efficiency of the drilling systems. The same applies to the nano-layered corrosion inhibitors in pipes or tanks, which creates a permanent molecular coating on the surface of metals, eliminating corrosion. Nanofluids and nanomaterials for drilling and completion: Nanotechnology has opened the development of smart fluids” for drilling, production and stimulation applications. Nanofluids and nano-based additives exhibit major advancement by enhanced drilling by adding benefits like wettability alteration, improved drag reduction and sand consolidation. A specialized petroleum laboratory has developed an advanced fluid mixed with nanosized particles and superfine powder that significantly improves the drilling speed and can eliminate formation damage in near wellbore zone. With the synthesis of a new breed of elastomeric composites filled with carbon nanotubes or other strongly anisotropic nano-objects, a stronger, tougher and more rugged drilling tools and apparatus will be manufactured in future. These tools will ensure a significant weight reduction and facilitate self-sensing elements to be interrogated for the real-time monitoring of the most critical parts. Another important technique in the development of super-hard materials is the use of nanostructured dispersed-hardened materials .First generation of nanotech...
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