The purpose of this research work is to show laboratory experiments conducted at 1500 psi and 350°C, experimentally simulating a reservoir located in the Gulf of Mexico. The experiments conducted used a novel process that involved a hot fluid to be injected with an ultra-dispersed nano catalyst. The results obtained showed that API gravity can be improved permanently as well as its viscosity, with the advantage of no coke or solid deposits formation. Laboratory analyses showed that by using this new process it is possible to enter into the matrix zone, expelling at least partially the oil confined inside.
As a consequence of the temperature increase, matrix rock may expand and expel its oil; while temperatures decrease, the pores in the matrix could be contracted, generating additional oil expulsion from this area. As a consequence of this expansion-contraction in the reservoir the reserves could be increased. Also, a change in the permeability appears due to the temperature increases.
The present study was focused in oil matrix extraction and in situ oil upgrading from a naturally fractured reservoir of heavy oil as a result of a hot fluid injection with nano catalyst. Moreover, the effects of capillary pressure, mobility, viscous effects, wettability, and gravitational drainage on the process were analyzed. Another aspect that was studied is how the thermal expansion generated as a consequence of the process that could expel the oil confined in the matrix.