The use of aqueous stabilized nanoparticle dispersions (NPDs) with 4-20 nm silicon dioxide particles has been demonstrated in both experimental laboratory evaluations and field trials to provide production improvements in wellbore remediation and increased injectivity over conventional treatments. To date over 50 successful beta test applications have been performed. Additional work is under way to develop improved NPD formulations that will enable applications in areas like hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, production chemicals, water flooding, tar sands, and heavy oil.
Nanofluids are stable colloidal dispersions or micellar dispersions that accelerate recovery of hydrocarbon from oil and gas reservoirs by the use of the unique enabling mechanism of disjoining pressure. The nanoparticles in NPD utilize this mechanism to form a self-assembled wedge-shaped film on contact with a discontinuous phase. This wedge film acts to separate formation fluids (oil, paraffin, water, and/or gas) from the formation's surface, thereby recovering more fluids than previously possible with conventional additives or fluids.
This paper will present a description of the disjoining pressure mechanism and present Research laboratory and actual field treatment beta testing to illustrate that higher fluid recoveries and injection rates can be achieved, by enabling conventional intervention fluids to function more efficiently.