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Exploiting Nanotechnology for Efficient Oil and Gas Exploration and Recovery

23 – 26 June 2014

London, United Kingdom | Charing Cross Hotel

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 24 June, 0900–1230

Session 1: Understanding Nanoscale Processes and Techniques

Session Managers: Salima Baraka-Lokmane and Christopher McDermott

This initial session will explore how nanotechnology is enabling a fundamental understanding of reservoir processes at the pore scale and sub-pore scale. Characterisation of mineral surface configuration has enhanced understanding of the diagenesis mechanisms that determine pore size, connectivity, tortuosity and so on. This allows better prediction of reservoir quality based on geological knowledge, petrophysics and modelling. Sub-pore scale imaging of surface topography provides critical insights into geochemical interactions affecting wetting processes, precipitation, and dissolution. Recent developments enhance this understanding through direct imaging of flow and chemical processes at sub-pore scale. The session will also address scaling issues essential to applying nano-insights at both micro and macro levels.


Session 2: Nanotechnology for Improved/Enhanced Oil Recovery

Session Managers: Gerard Glasbergen and Zhiliang Zhang

Nanoparticles have the ability to modify the material interfaces that are crucial in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), for example by altering the wettability of mineral surfaces, lowering oil-water interfacial tensions, and stabilising emulsions. Successful deployment of nanoparticles relies on a fundamental understanding of the nanoscale and pore scale characteristics and processes within reservoirs. This session will therefore build directly on the insights gained from Session 1, and explore how nanotechnology can be applied in EOR. Topics will include low-salinity flooding, viscosity modification by nanoparticles, the transport and mobility of nanoparticles in porous media, separation technology, nanosensors, and other beneficial properties of nanoparticles such as magnetic effects.

Wednesday, 25 June, 0900–1230

Session 3: Flow Assurance Nanotechnology

Session Managers: Neal Skipper, Olivier Tillement and Chris Greenwell

This session will explore nanotechnology-enabled solutions to serious flow assurance challenges arising, for example, from the formation of hydrates, waxes, asphaltenes, scale, and corrosion. As reliance on EOR approaches increases, so do the flow assurance challenges. Nanotechnology provides opportunities to enhance the efficacy of current practices such as squeeze treatments and the development of functional nanoparticles for high-pressure/high temperature conditions. This session will also focus on the potential for new approaches based on controlling nanoscale processes.


Session 4: Enhancing Drilling and Completion Products and Processes

Session Manager: Mike Hodder, Mark Wilson and Sergio Kapusta

This is perhaps the area that has received the most direct benefits of nanotechnology, with drilling fluid additives being under investigation for several years. This session will focus on the key improvements possible using recent nanotechnology ideas, including fluid loss control, high-temperature tolerance, and wellbore strengthening as well as nano-coatings to improve drill-bit durability.

Thursday, 26 June, 0800–1130

Session 5: Ensuring System Safety and Asset Integrity

Session Managers: Anne Neville and John-Richard Ordóñez-Varela

Nanotechnology has enabled advances in material properties through advanced functional coatings, and reinforcement for example with carbon nanotubes. This final session will explore how such developments can be exploited in advanced cements, and in crucial corrosion and erosion protection, to extend maintenance intervals. The session will also explore health, safety, and environmental issues surrounding nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry.