Controlled release materials for oilfield applications

G. Rothrock, L. Johnson, C. Norton, E. Ledet, N. Huffman
RTI International, US

Keywords: controlled release, nanomaterials, enhanced oil recovery

Summary:

The rise of global energy demands, coupled with the decline in easily accessible oil and gas reserves, has encouraged investigations into new methods for well construction and production. Conventional production methods use waterflooding, CO2 injection, and tertiary recovery, including thermal and chemical methods (e.g., steam stimulation, surfactant and polymer flooding), to mobilize residual oil in a reservoir. Recently, nanotechnology has gained recognition in the petroleum industry for its potential value to support EOR and flow control in applications including reservoir characterization and monitoring, surfactant – based EOR, fracturing, water diversion and scale control. The discussion will give an overview of engineered release and stimuli-responsive materials used in adjacent industries, such as personal care and pharmaceutics, and further describe how such systems have been chemically modified and/or processed into forms that are capable of use in the downhole environment.