Nanotechnology application can revolutionalise the additive characteristics and behaviour by tuning particle properties to meet certain operational, environmental, and technical requirements. Hence, the nanotechnological research leading to create some tailored made nanoparticles could be a promising step change research for smart fluids development for different industrial applications. These particles are ultra fines in nature, usually larger than an atom cluster but smaller than ordinary micro particles and thus have very high specific surface area with enormous area of interactions. Due to nano-scale particle dimension, the nano-type fluid additives have both external as well as internal inhibition potential, require a very low additive concentration and thus expected to provide superior fluid properties at a drastically reduced additive concentration.
Nano-particles with high thermal stability and affinity to acid gases such as H2S and CO2 will help meet the technical challenges of sour gas environment, deep and geothermal drilling and thus expected to complete a well economically and safely with a drastic reduction in oil and gas exploration and exploitation risk. Identification, screening, selection, and/or development of nontoxic, environment friendly and biodegradable nano-particle-based drilling fluids are expected to meet the current as well as the future environmental norms and regulations for drilling and production in deep water and sensitive environments.
This paper provides a detailed description of the likely benefits of emerging nano-particle-based additives in smart fluid design for oil and gas field application, especially for a new generation of drilling and drill-in, completion, stimulation, fracturing, etc fluids for trouble-free drilling, completion and production of oil and gas resources.
Drilling, drill-in, completion and stimulation fluids used in drilling and production operations are complex systems that contain a fluid phase, a solid phase and a chemical phase. Other than the fluid (water or oil or both) phase, the solids, chemicals and polymers that are used in designing a fluid play an important role in the functional behavior of the fluids. Though the factors that guide the choice of a fluid base and the mud additives are complex (Gray, 1980), the selection of the additives must take account of both the technical and environmental challenges of the areas for trouble free and economic drilling and production operations. The ability of nanotechnology to manufacture tailored made nanomaterials with specific characteristic properties is expected to play a leading role in overcoming the technical and environmental challenges faced during drilling and production.