Nanotechnology: Petrobras invests in increasing oil production efficiency

Dec 10, 2019

Petrobras is developing nanotechnology solutions to increase production in its oil fields. Using nanotechnology for use in Advanced Oil Recovery may make it possible to extract more oil and gas than conventional techniques already used. The company has invested R$ 21.3 million in this technology in recent years, using financial resources from R&D investment clauses, regulated by the National Agency of Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

“Petrobras’ mastery of this technology could be a watershed for the company’s offshore production, with more efficient and lower cost solutions than conventional advanced oil recovery technologies,” says CENPES reservoir manager Cláudio Marcos Ziglio .

Through its Research Center (Cenpes), in partnership with research groups in Brazil, the company has been developing solutions such as carbon nanoparticles, nanocapsules and nanomaterials (nanotubes, graphene and carbon black) to increase oil production. and improve the efficiency of Well operations.

“The manipulation of matter at atomic and molecular scale is the great differential of nanotechnology. This allows us to create new nanomaterials with specific characteristics that contribute to increase the productivity of our oil fields”, comments CENPES oil engineer Leonardo Alencar de Oliveira.


The most promising solution is SPARTAN (Sweep Performance Augmentation Realized by Thermally Activated Nanosystem), a product developed in partnership with the UFRJ Chemistry Institute. It is a thermosensitive system (responds to temperature by increasing its viscosity) that gels inside the oil reservoir and is capable of blocking preferential water paths such as channels, faults or fractures (typical scenario of heterogeneous reservoirs such as pre-salt). As a result, it increases the recovery factor of the oilfield and reduces excessive water production. It is estimated that the system will be able to go into the field by the end of 2022. Other nanotechnological solutions, such as carbon nanomaterials and nanocapsules, could be applied by 2025. Nanocapsules allow controlled release of chemicals into the reservoir.

Petrobras, in partnership with Brazilian research institutes and universities, is a pioneer in the country in the development of nanotechnological solutions for Advanced Oil Recovery. Through Cooperation Terms, it has a partnership with USP, UFRJ, UFF, UFMG and IPT in the development of nanotechnological solutions that comprise nanomaterial synthesis and functionalization activities, chemical characterization and laboratory tests.

Source: Petrobras Agency

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