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Spotlight

Intense Heat Ensures a Steady Output

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 13:10

Operators interested in improving production and decreasing their environmental impact can expect uplifting news. Thermo-Chemical Well Treatment (T-CHWT) technology can increase total daily production by lowering the crude’s viscosity and cleaning the formations’ porous areas, extending the reservoir’s productive life and making it possible to extract 70-80% of the oil in the reserve. When correlating extraction costs with production revenues, T-CHWT can be a profitable solution that could positively impact operators’ activities. The technology operates through a chemical process that obeys the highest safety standards, and the process can be automated. Energy losses are negligible and the return of investment is faster than using methods such as hydraulic fracturing or steam injections.

T-CHWT heats the formation to temperatures of up to 500°C or even more, although the ideal setting is to maintain temperatures around 300°C in order to lower the oil’s viscosity by raising API gravity. The chemicals react deep in the formation, generating a tremendous amount of heat in the reservoir and producing pressure levels strong enough to fracture the rock. The result is an immediate, much quicker flow of oil to the surface. All the chemicals and a small part of the crude oil convert into gases, leading to an artificial gas-lifting method that helps push the oil up and out of the well. The gases resulting from this process –mainly N2, NO2, CO2, and H2— are non-toxic, considering that the reaction takes place inside the reservoir and the released gases do not reach the atmosphere. Furthermore, the amount of emitted CO2 is lower than that of similar thermo-chemical EOR methods. The NO2, NO, and H2 react with the crude oil at high temperatures, producing N2, H2O, and CO2.

The intense heat generated due to the chemical reaction cleanses the area from asphaltenes, tars, resins, and paraffins located in the vicinity of the reservoir. In addition, the oil and water ratio also decreases, helping preserve the well’s integrity. Production can continue in a constant manner for months or even a couple of years until the formation’s pores become clogged again, which would require another T-CHWT intervention. This solution can be used until the reservoir is completely depleted, and can be used in new wells and mature fields, onshore and offshore developments, and horizontal, vertical, and injection wells at any depth and for any type of crude. Wells have been recorded to produce at least double, and sometimes ten times more oil per day, depending on the geological and technical parameters. In fact, old, shut-in wells have been reactivated and made productive again by using this process. While this technology is still being tested in Mexico, it has a strong chance of becoming a commonly sought-after solution in areas such as Poza Rica and Chicontepec, helping its supplier, Tekna Services, maintain its position in the country.