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Reservoir Nanoagents—Taming Complexities on Road to Deployment

25 – 26 February 2014

Dubai, UAE | The Address Marina

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 25 February

Session 1: Reservoir Nanoagents (RNA) in E&P—Value Proposition

Session Chairs: John-Richard Ordonez-Varela, Total E&P; Rushan Sakhibgareev, Chevron

Nanotechnology has been applied in medicine, biology, electronics, materials, coatings, and water treatment among others.

The application of nanotechnology in E&P remains controversial because of its promising yet hyped potentials as an alternative to conventional solutions and the value it would bring to operators. The stability of nanoagents in the subsurface environment remains a main hurdle for its widespread use in reservoir applications. This session will focus on the following topics:

  • General introduction and overview of E&P operation environment
  • Range of subsurface in-situ environments: different fluids and rock types
  • Challenges in E&P and potentials of reservoir nanoagents
  • Added benefits in exploring the nanoscale inside the rock matrix
  • Passive, active, reactive, and higher order agents
  • Current and future trends of reservoir nanoagents

Session 2: Colloids Science and RNA Challenges

Session Chairs: Howard Schmidt, Saudi Aramco; Matteo Pasquali, Rice University

This session will place emphasis on issues such as:

  • How do we stabilise colloids? Why current or conventional colloidal stability techniques fail in the reservoir? Are there any means around this? Do they work in the wellbore or near the wellbore region?
  • Provide a general background on transport and retention phenomena in reservoir and reservoir-like media
  • Review reservoir nanoagents and nanoparticles coating and functionalisation techniques
  • Review nano-carrier (nano-encapsulation) means and release or triggering mechanisms
  • What are the lessons learnt from other industries that are applicable to the E&P?
  • What can be readily transported or easily adapted for use in E&P operations and environment?

Session 3: Panel Session—Nanoagents Stability and its Value for Deployment

Session Chairs: Gaurav Agrawal, Baker Hughes; Joyce Wong, Schlumberger

This session invites experts from colloids science and interface, organic and inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry andmolecular modelling, fluid flow and transport in porous media, and rock imaging and microfluidics, among others, to detail, discuss, and address issues of reservoir nanoagents design, synthesis, analytics, detection, employment, and deployment in E&P. Solutions to the following questions will be discussed:

  • What are the key hurdles facing reservoir nanoagents’ use and deployment?
  • What is the best way to approach these hurdles?
  • What are the alternatives, if any?

This session sets the stage for the breakout session that follows. In particular, this session addresses the importance of nanoagents’ long term immunity to adsorption, and colloidal instability in the reservoir environment to nanoagents’ use and deployment in E&P.

Wednesday, 26 February

Session 4: Breakout Session—Dissecting the Problem: Overcoming the Hurdles

Session Chairs: Gaurav Agrawal, Baker Hughes; Mazen Kanj, Saudi Aramco

This session will constitute a think-tank with breakout groups working in parallel sub-sessions to explore employment and deployment of reservoir nanoagents in E&P. The session addresses challenge questions from the perspective of:

  • Wet Chemistry: Development of next generation and alternative coatings to stabilise nanoagents and enhance its survivability
  • Physical chemistry and modelling: Better understanding and simulate the particle-particle and particlerock interactions in the reservoir medium
  • Pore scale physics: Nanoagents’ testing procedures at different stages of nanoagents’ development; including nanoparticles flow imaging in microfluidics and coreflood testing.

Each sub-session will address relevant problem statements that were identified in the course of the workshop and work to simplify it and devise a strategy with timeline (roadmap) for fundamental analysis, understanding, and resolve of these challenges. A rapporteur presentation will follow to present an overview and the converging outcome from these sessions.

Session 5: Venues for Nanoagents Deployment—Issues Beyond Stability

Session Chairs: Martin Poitzsch, Schlumberger; Sergio Kapusta, Shell

This session looks beyond the fundamental hurdle of reservoir nanoagents’ stability to address issues like nanoagents’ mobility, detectability, scalability, and HSE and field operations. Chemical manufacturers and companies will give their views on scalability for deployment with examples from relevant fields and industries. Key points for discussions include:

  • Can we achieve nanoagents’ synthesis using abundant/cheap materials and “household kitchen” procedures?
  • How do we balance nanoagents’ detectability with nanoagents’ scalability?
  • How do we make the jump from nanoagents’ prototyping to implementation?
  • Is research funding in this field appropriate? Does more spending necessarily imply more success?
  • What are the current models of research collaboration in this field? Which models are most suitable to overcome all hurdles and achieve deployment?