Abstract

The innovative promises of nanotechnologies have fomented growing investments from governments, research centers and companies. As a multidisciplinary technology, nanotechnology developments are observed in many industries, such as: chemical, automotive, pharmaceutical, aerospace and defense, electronics, energy and materials. Market researches project that the global business based on nanotechnology products will reach US$ 3.3Tri in 2018. Nanotechnologies offer opportunities in all levels of the value chain at the oil and gas industry, contributing with more efficient, less expensive and more environmentally friendly technologies. Among these opportunities, are: improved data gathering, recognizing and avoiding dry holes; enhanced materials that provide strength and endurance to increase performance and reliability in drilling, tubular goods, and rotating parts; improved elastomers, enablers for high pressure high temperature drilling environments; corrosion protection for surfaces, subsurface and facilities applications; lightweight materials; selective filtration and water management; and enhanced oil recovery through the modification of reservoir properties. Nanotechnologies applied to materials science may help to modify or manipulate the characteristics of materials at the molecular level, developing materials with exclusive characteristics for critical applications. Among nanocoatings applications are antibiotic effects, thermal insulation, dirt repellent, corrosion resistance, mist absorbent and self cleaning. Nanocoating with self-healing property is an example of an environmentally friendly application. The objective of this work is to prospect the available nanotechnologies for corrosion protection for the oil and gas industry. The methodology is based on patents and scientific papers evaluation, through bibliometric techniques to identify the players that are most representative of the market. 76 patents and 45 scientific papers have been identified. Additionally, data from companies widely recognized at the sector have verified. As a result from this work, the authors expect to diffuse knowledge of solutions based on nanotechnologies for the oil and gas sector, contributing to foster innovation at the industry.

Introduction

In global terms, in the last few decades, the field of nanotechnology has drawn more investment from the public sector than any other single technology area, with figures of around US$8 billion in 2008 from public investment in research. It is also important to highlight that in the countries that top the rank of such investments, such as the United States, Europe and Japan, private investments are higher than public investments [1]. In this context, the innovative characteristics offered by nanotechnology have generated growing investments from governments, research centers and companies alike, encompassing most fields of knowledge on a worldwide level.

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