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AUTUMN / 2013

E ditor’s Letter


It’s time to stop waiting for the unexpected gifts from life and start making your own life.

The proverb written by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy can become a lodestar for more than one person. When we add a bit of luck and ambitions, doors to your dream career stand open before us. All you need is to want! The examples of such attitudes may be the profiles of people with whom we managed to talk. In the autumn issue of our Magazine you will find an interview with Katarzyna Cevallos Navarrete and Michael Lewis. They will tell us, among others, how they chose their own life path of development and whether everyone has the aptitude to succeed. In addition, we serve you, dear readers, a new series of articles entitled: “How it works?” It is directed towards people starting their adventure with the Oil and Gas Industry. Thanks to them, you will learn the basic

information on selected topics from the field of our industry. In extremely enthusiastic way I’m writing about the ambassadorial project which bears surprising fruit. Every day, we receive a lot of applications from you. So far we have managed to select 10 Ambassadors from all over the world. Congratulations to the elected ones and we wish good luck for the rest of the interested! Speaking of success: in the last 6 months, we were able to double the number of our fans on Facebook, and the other social networking sites! What is more, the website has noted an increasing number of visitors. Thank you for your confidence and I wish you a pleasant read of the autumn issue of YoungPetro!

autumn / 2013

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Editor-in-Chief Michał Turek

Proof-readers Karolina Kmak Urszula Łyszczarz

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Jan Wypijewski

IT Michał Solarz

Editors Iwona Dereń Kamil Irnazarow Hubert Karoń Dominik Homer Skokowski Gordon Wasilewski Maciej Wawrzkowicz Joanna Wilaszek Kacper Żeromski Science Advisor Tomasz Włodek Art Director Marek Nogieć

issn 2300-1259

Published by An Official Publication of

The Society of Petroleum Engineers Student Chapter P o l a n d •

Logistics Dawid Wierzbicki Marketing Barbara Pach Ambassadors Mostafa Ahmed, Egypt Usman Syed Aslam, Hyderabad, India Aniebiet-gutsy James, Nigeria Filip Krunic, Croatia Moshin Khan, Turkey Mehwish Khanam, Pakistan Yuri Moroz, Ukraine Michalis Niarchos, Greece Rohit Pal, UPES, India Joel Lim Min Sheu, Malaysia


This Business is a Rollercoaster 10 Maciej Wawrzkowicz, Jan Wypijewski

Green Completion 14 Mehwish Khanam

My Way to Success 17 Iwona Dereń, Michał Turek

Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent 21 for Flow Assurance Ma Shian Ee

Experimental Investigation of Using Nanoparticles 31 Dispersions to Improve Oil Recovery in Egyptian Fields Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty

The Relationship between Stability and Bubble 38 Distribution in Foam Drilling Fluid Yap Sze Yong

Determination of Optimal Conditions for Separation 49 in the Preparation of Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) for Use on Gas Piston Power Plant (GPP) Stepan Shpakov

Fuelling Sustainable Green Energy 53 Jesten Nigeil

Meeting Global Trends and Academic Needs 56 Barbara Pach

How It Works? 58 Maciej Wawrzkowicz autumn / 2013



On Stream – Latest News Gordon Wasilewski

Successful gas extraction in Poland

Etrion and Total start solar power plant in Chile

For over a month Lane Energy Poland produces shale gas in Lebien LE1 near Lebork, Northern Poland. Although amounts of gas are not yet commercial, it is the biggest extraction from shales in Europe reaching 8000 cubic metres per day. Lingering legislation procedures and withdrawal of three international firms from race of Polish shale sow dissent in society and disbelief in prospects of energy independence. This information may bring back spirit and high hopes.

On 26th September Total together with Etrion announced starting Salvador Project in Atacama region in Chile. Both companies together are focusing on building a 70 megawatt-peak photovoltaic power plant. 70% interests of this project belong to Etrion, 20% to Total and 10% to Solventus. Total cost of the venture is $200 million, financed in 30% by Etrion and Total. 70% of the costs will be paid by non-recourse debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (the US Government’s development finance institution) with a 19.5 year tenor. Furthermore, Salvador Project will be built by SunPower Corporation. This world leader in solar power was founded in 1985 in the USA. It has been in 66% possession by French Total since 2011. Salvador Project is the second power plant built by Etrion in Chile. The first one rests on building a 8.8 MW solar power plant and providing energy to the iodine mine in Aguas Blancas. The Geneva-based company has also some interests in Italy and is owned in about 25% by Lundin family. The Swedes own also 31% of Lundin Petroleum company.

The Polish Geological Institute estimates the country’s shale gas resources to 768 billion cubic metres, making them one of the largest on the continent. Do you want to live offshore? Oil people are so far the only ones accustomed to living offshore, but this may change, as non-profit organization The Seasteading Institute is making every effort to promote building free city-states on open waters. From our O&G industry perspective this is also an opportunity to make use of engineering skills in building and maintaining offshore platforms in totally different way. The Seasteading Institute just passed the goal of $20 000 on its Indiegogo fundraising campaign. The money will be spent on first design of a floating city. The work will be done by the Dutch firm DeltaSync specializing in offshore architecture projects (such as Rotterdam Floating Pavillion). As there is still much work to be done, there is also a lot of progress. The efforts are now made to establish cooperation with a host country to support building a city close to its shore. There is also a research survey to find people willing to inhabit offshore homes.

USA became the largest Oil and Gas producer The USA are overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. What does this mean? The USA ascendance comes as Russia has struggled to maintain its energy output and has yet to embrace technologies such as hydraulic fracturing that have boosted American reserves. The U.S. produced the equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels in July. Neither agency has data for Russia’s gas output this year, but Moscow’s forecast for 2013 oil-and-gas production works out to about 21.8 million barrels a day. To be sure, Russia is believed to have one of the world’s largest, untapped oil-bearing shale formations, creating the potential for a surge in production.


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This Business is a Rollercoaster

INTERVIEW | with Michael Lewis

‡‡ This Business is a Rollercoaster Maciej Wawrzkowicz, Jan Wypijewski Michael Lewis has over 34 years of experience as a petroleum geologist and exploration manager. He drilled, completed and produced over 1000 wells in Oklahoma, Texas, the Williston Basin and the Rocky Mountains. From 1996 to 2004 he was a VP Exploration in Lyco Energy, responsible for initiating successful Middle Bakken Play in 1999. From 2007 to 2012 he was a Chief geologist in 3legs Resources which drilled the first vertical and horizontal shale gas well in Poland. Now, he focuses on his own business- Discovery GeoServices. YoungPetro: The reason for creating events, like Student Shale Days conference that we’re attending now, is to educate students and society about unconventional resources. Do you think it’s necessary? Michael Lewis: Absolutely, yes. Unfortunately, our industry has done a very poor job of educating not only students in geology and engineering about shale gas, but the public, also. At Discovery GeoServices, one of our tenets is to change that. We are purposely involved at Discovery GeoServices in events like Student Shale Days to give knowledge and education wherever we can. One of the reasons for such actions is that there is a lot of bad information being published out there, and the only way to get people to understand the truth is to teach the right information. Another reason is a selfish motive. Because of the activity we have planned for the next several years, we (Discovery GeoServices) will

need geologists, geophysicists and engineers, and the best place to get these talents can be from the universities. YP: Recently, popularity of shale gas in Europe has begun to fall. After extremely optimistic public mood a few years ago, we can see reserved attitude right now. What is the reason of this situation? ML: There is more than one reason. First is that no company has been successful at producing gas at commercial rates from shale in Europe yet. My personal opinion is that it is not due to rock problems or gas problems. In the United States, where this all started, it has taken many wells. In fact if you look at the Barnett shale – it took 20 or 30 wells (most failures) to get the shale play started. It is vastly different today than when the Barnett started, so we have taken a huge advance in technology, but it can still take a large number of wells to make a play work. In Poland, we haven't got many wells at all, and most of

Maciej Wawrzkowicz, Jan Wypijewski

them were drilled the same way as all the rest. There is no company that has done a very good job of trying different methods and technologies (oil based mud, various stress-related azimuths, various vertical placements and different mud technologies, for example) or different completion practices. It takes that type of approach to make a shale play work. This is the fundamental reason that shale in Europe has suffered recently. The companies have not drilled enough wells and they have not tried the technologies that need to be tried, but they have only drilled a very few wells, mostly in the poorer and higher risk areas of the play. Another side of that is the political environment in most countries (other than Poland), for example in France where “anti-fracking” campaigns have been fanatical, although the recent threat of tax increases has certainly hurt the shale gas momentum in Poland. YP: Lately Polish public opinion has been shaken by news about abandonment of Polish shale by ExxonMobil, Talisman Energy and Marathon Oil. What do you think was the reason for their decision? ML: Let’s go in reverse. Marathon Oil came in very late, and they got concessions that are of comparatively low quality. Personally, I’ve never expected them to have success, because their rock characteristics are not good enough, even though they did a pretty good job of technically evaluating the play. It’s not surprising at all that they are in the position to pull out of Poland. Talisman Energy had concessions that were difficult because they focused mostly on the oily, less mature area of the play. My rule is simple – assuming you can, do shale gas first, and then, if you are able to do that efficiently, you can work on the more difficult oil plays. The Eagle Ford is an exception, it is something that is a different animal than what I’ve just described, most plays are not like that. Be-


cause Talisman Energy had concessions that are oil–rich, for the most part, they are trying to do something more difficult than what is still not proven with the shale gas. ExxonMobil has typically very high costs. I’ve seen their drilling locations and they are very expensive. Their drilling is very expensive, some of the decisions they have made – very expensive. I am confident that they have spent two or three times as much money trying to make a single well than for instance anyone else in the Baltic Basin. You cannot do shale gas without cutting costs and making things less expensive. Because of that, I really didn’t expect that ExxonMobil could succeed. YP: In the USA, the petroleum industry is facing protests of ‘anti–fracking’ groups, based on unscientific arguments. In Europe this problem has also influenced climate about shale gas recently. What do you think about these groups and their actions? ML: I can’t say what I think of them (laughing). A lot of the public mood about shale gas comes from this Gasland movie and other farcical publications. These things are misleading, largely incorrect and technically improbable. We have been fracking for 60 - 70 years and there hadn’t been a problem of fracking until the Gasland movie came out. I think that enough people have finally realized that the “flaring gas from the sink in your kitchen” and the supposed “pollution of ground water from fracking fluids, coming up from rock layers lying 2 miles down” - that it was all hype. I know several places in the USA where I can light the gas that comes out of the faucet, but it’s naturally occurring biogenic gas, not gas from fracking. In the USA especially, people are finally realizing this and are cutting back on the regulations. It’s only a matter of time before Europe does the same. The point is that it is all based on fiction rather than facts and the politicians need to realize that true science, true research, true facts

autumn / 2013


need to be involved and looked at. Reactions need to be brought by facts and figures rather than by hype. Meanwhile, we will have to struggle on. France seems to be a leader of the entire “anti–fracking” campaign and it is a popular thing to do. Sometimes it is fun for some people (socially) to have rallies against something and I think fracking has just been the latest craze. YP: You have been working in different parts of the world. What are the main differences between working in petroleum industry in Poland and in other countries? ML: Until the proposal tax changes, Poland was one of the best places in the world, in my opinion, to invest and work, outside the

This Business is a Rollercoaster

US and Canada. It was even better in some respects than the United States, because you can obtain and control very large areas and, even though the regulations for the paper work are cumbersome, they are still something you could maneuver through. However, the proposed tax changes are so huge and poorly timed. If they are accepted in the proposed form, they will completely reverse my opinion. Benefits of working in Poland need to be better than the economics of working in the USA to overcome the much higher costs and sparse infrastructure. Right now, Poland is potentially a better place than the US to work with success… but with the new tax law it would definitely not be.

Maciej Wawrzkowicz, Jan Wypijewski

YP: What was the purpose of founding the Discovery GeoServices subsidiary in Poland? Why, besides economy, was it worth to invest on Polish market? ML: Discovery GeoServices through its subsidiary called Sierra Bravo has acquired a large concession area in southern Poland, on the edge of the Carpathians. We've been looking there for conventional reserves. We see a very good potential in the area of the Carpathians, I guess for a couple of reasons – my business partner in Discovery GeoServices (Michał Żywiecki) is Polish and we (he, especially) have spent many years working on the geology and the negotiations for this area. But also we believe that Poland is, because of the occupation until 1989, only now in a position to take advantage of the huge resources which are available. YP: Oil business is a very specific part of the market. Why did you choose petroleum geology as a path of your career? ML: Well… I was going to be a doctor. My dad was a doctor, but I didn’t like formaldehyde (laughing)! But… I took a course in geology from Dr Bork (my professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio) and I absolutely loved it! Geology was something that I got very excited about, and I loved it! And still love it! That’s why I’m in this business. I think that the best way to make money is also the petroleum business, so I get to look at rocks and go round and look at the outcrops and do what I do with business and technology and still also make enough money to have a worthy life.


YP: What was the biggest success in your career? ML: I was really blessed to be the exploration manager and geologist for the Bakken play in Montana in 1999, which was and possibly still is the biggest shale play in the United States. Yeah, we started it! That was really cool! But… drilling the first horizontal shale gas well in Europe was pretty cool too! What we are doing in Discovery GeoServices is really cool too, so I don’t think I’ve got one best, I’ve got several! I just have a blessed life! (laughing) YP: Could you give some advice to us, students who want to start their careers in petroleum industry? ML: This business is a rollercoaster. You have ten fantastic years, and then five to ten horrible years. I’ve made no money for about onethird of my career, but the rest was fantastic, so stick with it. Don’t let the money become an issue, but use the bad years to improve your skills and knowledge. Secondly, always “push the envelope” and try new things! I am using tools and techniques all the time that are brand new. I try them, most of them don’t work… but some do. The ones that do work help so much, so always be willing to try new things…be curious! But, always remember that if it isn't fairly simple to explain and understand, it’s probably not right…yet! YP: Thank you very much for the interview! ML: Thank you guys. That was very fun! (laughing) 

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Green Completion

Green Completion Mehwish Khanam

Green completion can be a foreign term for some people but it’s the real and the next demonstration of technology that is always one step ahead of the natural gas opposition Around the globe, the conventional resources are depleting. Thus, it is the need of the hour to expand existing gas resources or to develop the new HC fields in order to bridge the demand/supply gap. Among them, such state of affairs like the unconventional resources promise to be a solution. The hydraulic fracturing of unconventional resources has the potential not only to dramatically reduce reliance on foreign fuel imports but

ated with hydraulic fracturing pose a hurdle to the large-scale application of the technology in many countries. There are various methods of capturing methane and other gases that are released during well completions and well workovers e.g. green completions and the flaring of gas at smaller scale. On July 28th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the package of regulations that are designed to reduce air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry. One of these regulations, a new source performance standard for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), will require drillers to use this technique on any oil or gas well that

Fig. 1 – The Rig Site with its Accessories also to do so in an economically and environmentally responsible manner. The environmental concerns (flaring of methane, release volatile organic compounds in air etc.) associ-

they hydraulically fracture. The EPA estimates that this new regulation, which is the United States’ first federal air standard addressing hydraulically fractured wells, will reduce


Mehwish Khanam

Sand Control

Water Removal

Sand control It will knock the sand out of the flow The sand is sent to the proper disposal tanks Water Removal Separation of water from flow where is is gathered and shipped to tanks All of the water flow is meterd for accuract of water recovered/produced

Oil Separation

Natural Gas

Oil Separation In this phase oil is gathered and shipped to storage tanks If required it can be sent down the pipeline for immediate sales Natural Gas Pure Energy’s separators allow operator to sell the Natural Gas as the well is being completed Metering of gas flow is done

Fig. 2 – Gas flow such wells’ emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 95 percent. RECs have become a popular practice among Natural Gas STAR production partners. A total of thirteen different partners have reported performing reduced emissions completions in their operations. RECs have become a major source of methane emission reductions since 2000. Between 2000 and 2009 emissions reductions from RECs (as reported to Natural Gas STAR) have increased from 200 MMcf (million cubic feet) to over 218,000 MMcf. Capturing an additional 218,000 MMcf represents additional revenue from natural gas sales of over $1.5 billion from 2000 to 2009 (assuming $7/Mcf gas prices). The recent estimates of methane emitted during the production, processing, and transport of natural gas have caused some questions about the greenhouse gas benefits that could be achieved by switching from the coal to gasfired electricity, which will ultimately reduce the cost of electricity and more yearly revenue will be generated. As a result country economy will be boosted. Figure#01: The Rig Site with its Accessories Green Completions – also known as ‘The Reduced Flaring Completions’ or the ‘Reduced Emissions Completions’ (RECs) more precisely are defined as:

In green completions, gas and hydrocarbon liquids are physically separated from other fluids and delivered directly into equipment that holds or transports the hydrocarbons for productive use. There is no venting or flaring. This practice then links upstream activities with mid and downstream efforts

The natural gas from flow back fluid is separated into four phases (Fig. 2).

The Expected Impacts of the Green Completions… Environmental Benefits The Green completions are systems that reduce methane losses during well completions. After a new well completion or work over, the well bore and formation must be cleaned of debris and fracture fluid. The conventional methods for doing this include production of the well into an open pit or tank to collect sand, cuttings and reservoir fluids for disposal. Typically, the natural gas, which is produced, is vented or flared. Large volume of the natural gas, which is lost, may not only affect

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regional air quality, it may affect the profitability of drilling operations as well. Safety The Green completion systems present significant opportunity for cost savings. By using portable equipment to process gas and condensate, the recovered gas can be directed to a pipeline and then sold. These truck or trailer mounted systems can typically recover more than half of the total gas produced and industry results have shown that investment in portable three phase separators, sand traps and tanks can be recovered in 2 years or less. The EPA’s New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants will improve air quality and reduce health risks. Economical Combined with the shift to closed-loop systems that eliminate the need for open pits, this development means both air emissions and flowback water are recaptured and reused with both economic and environmental benefits.

"The action taken today is expected to yield nearly a 95 percent reduction in smog-forming volatile organic compounds emitted from more than 13,000 hydraulically fractured gas wells each year” said EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Key Provisions in the Final Rule The Green completions continue to be identified as the best system of emission reduction, but EPA has identified a transition pe-

Green Completion

riod (until January 1st, 2015) to ensure green completion equipment is broadly available. During this transition period, fractured and re-fractured wells must reduce their emissions through combustion devices (flares). To recognize the leadership of owners and operators who have already adopted the green completions as the best management practice and to encourage others to become early adopters, while at the same time eliminating the unnecessary expenditures of the state resources, the final rule redefines actions that constitute modifications under the New Source Performance Standard program (NSPS).

Advantages There are a lot of long-term benefits of this technology, such as: ÈÈ



Reduction in emissions of methane, carbon dioxide, VOC and HAP during well cleanup Capturing products that could be sold by the operator such as gas and condensate Reduction loss of a valuable hydrocarbon resource such as Methane

Conclusion and Results The Green completions are yet another demonstration of technology advancing faster than natural gas opponents, who are always debating yesterday’s issues. They’re still talking flaring and open pits, while the industry is moving forward well beyond both. It just keeps getting better, while our friends on the other side only see doom and gloom because they’re focused on the past. 

References 1. EPA’s Air Rules for the Oil & Natural Gas Industry 2.


Iwona Dereń, Michał Turek

INTERVIEW | Katarzyna Cevallos Navarrete

‡‡ My Way to Success Iwona Dereń, Michał Turek YoungPetro: You graduated from the department of Drilling, Oil and Gas. Where did you get this idea to study such an extraordinary faculty? Was it your individual choice or did somebody have an influence on it? Katarzyna Cevallos Navarrete: My father helped me with choosing the faculty. He also works in the oil and gas industry and has also studied in Krakow. When I was 18, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my life so I thought “Why not to try the drilling industry?” I’m not hiding that my interests were rather connected with philology; however, my perspective at the time was that drilling was a good choice. If I had to choose what to study now, I would have chosen the same. I don’t regret that decision. I met a lot of amazing people, with whom I still keep in touch. I have found a satisfying job. I feel complete. YP: Did you have any influence on the development of SPE in Poland? Where did you find the motivation to act?

idea of creating an international student conference was born. We realized it after a short period of time. YP: Did you think that this idea will be moped into the series of conferences with such a big scale, as we have now?

KCN: SPE in Poland was created before I started studies. Not many people knew about it and there was a lack of hands to work. After some incidents I become a Chairman of SPE Chapter. My main responsibility was to create new ideas and to make the section working fresh.

KCN: I’m not denying, that I really wanted, for the first conference to be the beginning of others. It was difficult, we didn’t have big support. In fact, a few people only were working with this Project. There were also a lot of people who didn’t believe in the success. Later on we could see – we made it. The continuation is organized every year, by YoungPetro magazine, “East meets West”.

We created the Internet website and improved collaboration with professionals. The

I am very delightful, that this idea was continued, especially that the conference is more

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My Way to Success

and more popular among students and specialists from industry. It testifies that there is a need for such projects at the university. I am very proud I am involved.

in a person, so employment is more than likely possible after that. As you can see, it is worthy to fight for internship. I recommend everybody this kind of self-development.

YP: Talking about EmW. How do you like this year’s edition?

YP: Did you have any moments in your career that you wanted to design?

KCN: It’s no secret that I really liked it. I attended every conference from the start, except for one – at that time I had a 4-month old baby to look after. From my observations I see that we continue to grow every year, more and more people come from abroad, among them are some very important people from petroleum industry. I am really impressed. My congratulations towards organizers.

KCN: Such situations held place during the first year. I had to deal with advanced mathematics and physics, and with my humanistic head it was not very successful. I remember one situation when I complete gave up. I went back from university, throwing my notebook against the wall and I wanted to give up. My friends helped me though and cheered me up. I was with those people until the end of my studies. Later, when I started to work I also had doubts, I was thinking if this is what I want to do, do I want my life to be like this. But, fortunately, such moments came and went quickly.

YP: Heading to the next topic – Can you tell us more about your first job experience? KCN: If we are talking about my first experience, one day completely by accident, I got to know about Schlumberger recruiting at AGH. They organized recruitment for internships. I remember that this message came to me while I was sitting in the student pub. My friends and I went for a beer together that night. When I came back I wrote my first CV in English (laugh). Before recruitment I had many doubts, I didn’t know what to expect. I made a decision to be very calm about it and lead on the fortune. The lady, who was recruiting appeared to be very nice. A very short conversation turned into a 40 minute long, very laid-back conversation, after which I got invited to the internship that they held in Aberdeen. Not a long time after that, I got proposed to work in Schlumberger.

YP: The issue of women working in the petroleum industry is very loud now. What do you thinking about it? Is it a place for ladies to work in? KCN: Of course, is it! I very often am asked such questions. In the petroleum industry there is more and more women every year. Even some of the companies aim to employ more ladies, not only in the office but also on the platforms. Sometimes you can notice a skeptical attitude towards this but I think it will all change in a few years.

YP: Is it easy to find a job after such internships?

YP: And if we are talking about family, there is a vision that due to the style of work, people from petroleum industry have a problem to settle down with a family. How did you manage to do that?

KCN: The majority of the people leasing for internship proposed by the companies, are invited to work there later. Those students are, in some level already experienced with knowledge about company-law. It is an investment

KCN: Somehow I manage, although this is not an easy issue. I have a husband and a one and a half year old son. I think that if somebody really wants, they can always manage having this. After giving birth, I have had

Iwona Dereń, Michał Turek

only a few months of maternity leave… I came back to active work only for a half of day job. I think that the worst thing is to be closed into 4 walls due to giving birth. YP: What personal characteristics are needed to reach success at work? We ask you for some advice for our magazine readers? KCN: I do not think of myself as a woman of success. At least not presently, however I hope that in a few years I will be able to see myself like that. In my opinion, the most important thing for a person is to be “out-going”. If somebody is a shy person and cannot be outgoing or aim high, they lose out so much. You have to know how to sell yourself. Of course, you have to do it with your head, but the most important thing is to see your


own value. As well as be hard working and aiming to get what you want – should bring you profit in the future. YP: We already know your past Carter, what about your future? What plans do you have for the near future? KCN: In a short period of time, I am travelling from Germany to USA. I am going to start work in Houston. I think that a good start and fast acclimatization in a new environment is the plan for the nearest future. YP: Thank you for the talk and we wish you all the more success! KCN: Thank you as well, all the best for YoungPetro Magazine Readers. 

autumn / 2013


Ma Shian Ee


Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent for Flow Assurance Ma Shian Ee

Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) has been used to increase flow capacity in existing pipelines. This obviates the need to install additional booster pumps. Most of the commercial DRA is a polymeric system with high molecular weight like Polyacrylamide (PAM). When subjected to high shear stress, the polymeric DRA will suffer mechanical breakdown, thus reducing its effectiveness in dampening the turbulent flow inside the pipe, reduces the drag reducing efficiency of the DRA. In this study, alternative formulation is proposed by using worm-like micelles (WLM). WLM is a visco-elastic material derived from surfactant and salt mixture. While application is widespread in consumer personal care products and flow assurance agent for district cooling and heating, utility as DRA merits further study. Since WLM has ability to break and reform under high shear stress, it can overcome the mechanical degradation common in polymeric DRA. The WLM system is formed from cationic surfactant consisting of Hexadecyltrimetyl-ammonium bromide (CTAB) at a fixed concentration of 0.15M mixed with Sodium Nitrate at 0.2 wt% to 1.0 wt%. Another system comes from Dodecyltriethylammonium Bromide (DTAB)/sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) at the molar ratio of 27/73. The final concentration for the mixture will be in the range of 140mM to 200mM. The efficiency of WLM is compared with PAM DRA in a viscosity test and water flow test. Rheological behaviour of WLM is evaluated in the viscosity test as a

**Universiti Teknologi Petronas ÞÞMalaysia  University   Country   E-mail

function of apparent viscosity and shear rate. Non-Newtonian behavior is expected since the mixture showed a shear thinning effect when exposed to high shear stress. WLM is injected into the water flow test to determine the drag reducing efficiency in turbulent flow. The results from this study can be used to determine WLM application as DRA in oil pipeline. As it can maintain viscoelasticity under mechanical stresses, it is possible to overcome the limitation inherent in polymeric DRA.

Literature Review Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) Over the years, pipeline will degrade due to corrosion, deposition, and frictional pressure. Consequently, the flow rate is decreased. Furthermore, the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure will be reduced when the wall thickness decreases. Injecting high pressure on the same pipeline in order to maintain the flow will put the pipe at the risk of getting rupture. To avoid this problem, some available choices are shown below: ÈÈ ÈÈ

Install New Pipeline (very Costly) Reduce pressure (will cause flow reduction, uneconomic production)

autumn / 2013


Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent for Flow Assurance

Fig. 1 – Layer of Flow inside pipeline. Without DRA, the fluid flow is turbulent due to the eddies. (Retrieved from QFLO at http://

Fig. 2 – Flow with addition of DRA . DRA thickened the buffer layer, thus reduce the turbulent energy created by the eddies. (Retrieved from QFLO at


Install booster pump (very costly) Using Drag Reducing Agent (low Cost)

Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) is usually employed as cheaper alternative to overcome the pipeline problem. In 1943, DRA had proved its effect where drops of certain synthetic oil soluble polymer was added into pipeline of turbulent flow, result showed that there was a reduction in fluid flow resistance (oilfield wiki, n.d). Large scale commercial application was demonstrated in 1979 where DRA was injected into pipeline in Trans Alaska (Burger, E.D 1982).Result showed that the flow was increased to 200,000 bbl/day (Wahl, W.R 1982). Currently, the two types of DRA are known as polymeric DRA and surfactant DRA.

However, the DRA being applied in the pipeline nowadays is polymeric DRA while the application of surfactant DRA in pipeline system has still remained unknown. The drag reducing effect using DRA can better appreciated by looking at the fluid behavior inside the flowing pipe. The area where the fluid closest to the pipe and exposed to shear stress is known as viscous sublayer or laminar sublayer – flow at this layer is almost laminar. The middle layer is known as buffer layer, where there is a little amount of energy to overcome the frictional pressure against the pipe wall to maintain the "in-line" flow. The outermost layer is known as turbulent layer (Skoda Research, 2001).

Ma Shian Ee


Fig. 3 – Wormlike Micelle. (Adapted from Ezrahi et al., 2000) The flowing fluid inside the pipeline when comes into contact with the pipe wall will generate frictional forces and eddies will be formed, casing a significant loss of energy in flow and thus affecting the flow rate. Friction at the boundary will drag the fluid particles and tend to hold them at the buffer layer which causes the decrease in the rate of flow. The current solution involves Injecting polymer DRA to help to reduce the tendency for the vortices to form in order to improve the flow rate. Polymeric DRA is able to perform an excellent job in reducing the "drag" caused by the frictional pressure in the buffer region and prevent the recirculation effect due to turbulent flow. However, the disadvantage of polymer DRA is that once it is exposed to shear stress, it will deform permanently and additional DRA is needed to maintain the flow of oil inside the pipeline. Besides, due to different salinity and chemical reaction, the DRA will be destroyed and it will lose its function.

Surfactant DRA-Wormlike Micelle (WLM) Surfactant DRA is also known as wormlike micelle (WLM). WLM is a self-assembled aggregate that formed as a mixture of surfactant solution combine and the counter-ion in an electrolyte such as acids or salt. Recent year, WLM has been even applied in oil field where WLM is used to produce viscoelastic surfactant (VES) in order to inject the propant down hole for hydraulic fracturing purposes. The “rheological drag reduction” exhibited by WLM, which is also known as “Toms effect”, is studied and it is expected to be applied in pipeline to reduce the energy losses. This DRA has also been used in district heating and cooling systems, where the cold and hot water is produced from a central plant and later served to the surrounding area through pumping (Gyr A, 1995). Mixing surfactant into the aqueous solution will produce different kind of microstructure such as micelles, liquids, crystal and vesicles (Israelchvili, 1992). As concentration of salt

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Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent for Flow Assurance

solution increase, the head group for the surfactant will decrease, promoting the formation of WLM. Micelle will grow and can become microstructure like cylindrical, rod-like, rectangular, spherical and others. Above critical micelle concentration (CMC), wormlike micelle will be formed. The viscoelasticity of the WLM is due to the long and flexible entanglement transient network formed when salts or co-surfactant is added into the surfactant. WLM has a contour length varies from micrometer to nanometer, the overlapping and entanglement of WLM to form complex 3-D network structure that made them a viscoelastic fluid, which is quite similar to a polymer chain (H. Rehage 1991). The molecules inside the polymer DRA are usually bonded covalently and rigid. However, the attraction forces that hold the micellar structure of WLM together are relatively weaker compared to polymer DRA, this weak force allows WLM to continuously break and reform as time goes, hence WLM is also known as "living polymer" (Cates 1990). WLM will deform when the equilibrium condition is disturbed (shear is applied) while reform

after the equilibrium condition is restored (Shear stress is low or removed). When exposed to high shear stress, the WLM which behaves like a Non-Newtonian fluid will undergo either shear thickening or shear thinning effect. A shear thinning effect is more desirable as this phenomena proved that the molecular chain is undergoing stretching, making it more capable of dampening the eddies current in a turbulent flow. Cationic and anionic surfactants are usually being used to produce WLM. Non-ionic surfactant can form WLM as well but the fatty alcohol ethoxylates are sensitive towards high temperature. For a zwitterionic surfactant having both positive and negative charged molecule, it offers a environmentally friendly advantage as it is biodegradable. Past research proved that Cationic surfactant like Hexadecyltrimethyl ammoniun bromide (CTAB) is capable of forming highly viscoelastic solution together with the addition of salt solution (H Rehage, 1988). Besides, it was shown that the micelle length is dependent on the concentration of salt solution. At fixed amount of cationic surfactant CTAB, the increase of salt concentration (will increase the curvature energy

Polymer DRA


WLM (Surfactant System)

Efficiency is affected by the concentration. Large amount of DRA is needed for higher efficiency of drag reduction.


Small amount of WLM is needed to achieve the result of reducing the drag forces.

Less likely to be affected by temperature.


Sensitive to changes in the temperature.

Undergo permanent mechanical degradation at high shear stress.

Reaction toward shear stress

Network of micellar deform at high shear stress but WLM manage to rebuild its own structures.

Biodegradable polymer is available but use of synthetic polymer will cause problem.

Effect to Environment

Uncertainties exist but certain surfactant system is environmentally friendly

Large quantities of DRA and storage spaces needed; big issue for offshore platform.


No Limitation. Small quantities and small storage space needed.

Table 1 – Comparison between Polymeric and Surfactant DRA


Ma Shian Ee

of the surfactant molecule and hence resulting in a longer micelle length (K KUPERKAR, 2008) . The CTAB concentration for this project will be fixed at the concentration of 0.15M while the concentration (%wt) of NaNO3 is varied between 0.2wt% to 1.0wt%. Polymeric DRA vs Surfactant DRA The current DRA applied in oil field is made from polymer DRA system such as Polyacryalmide (PAM) and polymethyl methacrylate. Surfactant is the fundamental part for the formation of WLM system. The major differences of using a Polymer DRA or Surfactant DRA are shown in Table 1.

(DTAB) and Sodium Dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is prepared. The DTAB/SDS will be kept in a constant molar ratio of 27/73. The final concentration for both the mixture will be 140mM, 160mM, 180mM and 200mM. Wormlike Micelle (Mixture of CTAB and NaNO3) This Surfactant DRA was prepared by mixing Hexadecytrimetyl Ammonium Bromide (CTAB) with sodium nitrate (NaNO 3). The CTAB is fixed at a concentration of 0.15M while varying the concentration of NaNO 3 of 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 (wt%). Shear Stress vsViscosity Test

Methodology Two types of surfactant DRA will be tested in this study. Both are cationic surfactant. These surfactant DRA (WLM) were mixed with salt solution at different concentration, then their reaction towards shear rate as well as their efficiency in reducing the drag force during a flow was observed and recorded. The chemicals needed to prepare the WLM for the experiment are listed in Table 2. Wormlike Micelle (Mixture of DTAB and SDS) A Cationic surfactant DRA system consisting of Dodecytrimethyl Ammonium Bromide

All the WLM produced is subjected to viscosity test. Viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow and viscometer was used to measure their resistance to flow upon different shear rate applied. Different rate of Shear stress were applied to the solution and the changes in viscosity toward the shear test was recorded. Different concentration of DRA were brought to the test to determine their behavior hen exposed to shear stress. In this research, BrookeField viscometer is chosen. The different sample fluid will be placed on the testing plate, then shear rate of 200 rpm, 400 rpm, 600 rpm, 800 rpm and 1000 rpm will be run for each sample fluid. The time for applying the shear rate on each



HexadecytrimetylAmmonium Bromide (CTAB)

Surfactant used to produce wormlike micelle

Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3)

To add into the surfactant to promote the growth of wormlike micelle

Dodecytrimethyl Ammonium Bromide (DTAB)

Surfactant used to produce wormlike micelle

Sodium Dodecyl sulfate (SDS)

Surfactant used to produce wormlike micelle

Table 2 – Chemical needed

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Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent for Flow Assurance

Turbulent Flow Test The purpose of this experiment is to test the efficiency of different WLM during a turbulent flow. The rate of turbulent flow for pure water will be run as the reference case. Same test will be carried out over and over again but with the addition of WLM at different salt concentration. The changes in the flow rate can be measured by making comparison with the base case (pure water flow).

Fig. 4 – BrookeField Viscometer

Centrifugal pump will be installed to generate the turbulent flow. The amount of water used for each sample will be about 20liters. The time taken for the 20 liters of water to completely flow from one water tank to another will be recorded using a stopwatch. Hence using simple calculation, Flow Rate = Volume/ Time, the flow rate Q can be easily calculated.

sample will be set at 100 seconds before the reading of the viscosity will be measured.

Result and Discussion

BrookeField viscometer was used to test the viscosity for each sample fluid at different shear rate. All the test will be conducted in room temperature of 25 Degree Celsius.

During the viscosity test, six spindles are needed to test for all the sample using trial and error method. For each shear rate, all the six spindles need to be used and the viscosity

Entry of DRA

Pressure Gauge

Water Tank 5 meter Pump

Water Tank

Fig. 5 – Proposed Design for a Turbulent Flow Experiment.


Ma Shian Ee

Apparent Viscosity Reading for CTAB and NaNO3 vs Shear Rate Apparent Viscosity (μ)

2500 2000 0.2 wt%


0.4 wt% 1000

0.6 wt% 0.8 wt%


1.0 wt%

0 0







Shear Rate (rpm) Fig. 6 – Apparent Viscosity Reading of CTAB and NaNO3 vs Shear Rate reading with the highest percentage of accuracy will be chosen. The temperature on the testing plate is set at 25 degree Celsius. Using a syringe, a few drops of sample will be dripped on the testing plate until it is enough to cover the entire surface of the spindle. Later, the shear rate will be set with a minimum of 200 rpm till 1000 rpm. Experiment is carried out for all the sample produced, which is surfactant DRA of CTAB and NaNO 3 as well as the surfactant DRA of DTAB and SDS. Result showed that for a WLM system consisted of CTAB and NaNO 3 at different concentration, the viscosity generally shows reduction as the shear stress increases from 200 rpm till 1000 rpm. This phenomena can be described as Shear Thinning Effect. The shear thinning effect shown in the experiment signified that when shear is applied to the WLM, the micellar chains of the WLM are broken or stretched. During production where oil is transported to the surface using the pipeline facilities, due to the turbulent flow, eddies current and energy will be formed and this will prevent

the oil to flow. By injecting the DRA into the pipeline, the WLM will absorb the turbulent energy through dampening the eddies. After the turbulent energy is absorbed, the viscosity of DRA should decrease dramatically since the micellar chain is disturbed. The drop in the apparent viscosity of th DRA is known as the shear thinning effect. The same situation which encountered in this experiment proved WLM in this experiment is capable of performing the drag reducing effect, which is believed to be able to help reduce the turbulent flow in a pipeline as well as boosting the flow rate. During this experiment, WLM consisting of DTAB and SDS at different final concentration were tested. However, the molar ratio of DTAB and SDS was kept at constant, which is 27 to 73. The result of the viscosity reading shown for this WLM is somehow similar to the previous experiment. Viscosity of the sample will be reduced when higher shear stress is applied. The shear stress for this experiment also ranged from 200 rpm to 1000 rpm. From Fig. 5, by keeping the molar ratio of DTAB and SDS at a constant of 27 to 73, viscosity was observed to be varied as final con-

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Wormlike Micelleas Drag Reducing Agent for Flow Assurance

Apparent Viscosity Reading of DTAB and SDS vs Shear Rate 2000

Apparent Viscosity (μ)

1500 140mM


160mM 500


0 200





Shear Rate (rpm) Fig. 7 – Apparent Viscosity Reading of DTAB and SDS vs Shear Rate centration of the mixture is modified. The initial viscosity of the sample increases when the final concentration of this WLM mixture is increased. For the DRA mixture having a final concentration of 120 mM (0.0012M), the apparent viscosity is of 640 cp at a shear rate of 200 rpm. When the final concentration is increased to 180 mM and same shear rate applied, the viscosity reads 1860 cp. The apparent viscosity shown a slight decrease instead of increase when the final concentration reached 200 mM. This might be due to the maximum concentration achieved so any further increase in final concentration can no longer increase the viscosity of the sample. Since shear thinning effect was observed for this sample, it is believed that the surfactant DRA produced using this formula could help to improve the flow efficiency inside an oil pipeline.

Conclusion The WLM for both system were formed successfully in this research and both were highly viscous liquid. The first WLM being formed is the mixture of CTAB and NaNO 3 with differ-

ent concentration of NaNO 3 while another WLM being produced was DTAB mixed with SDS with different final concentration while keeping the molar ratio of a constant of 27 (DTAB) to 73 (SDS). These liquids were stored in the lab for 2 days for stabilization before the commencement of experiment and test. Result from the viscosity test has shown that for both the WLM, even at different salt concentration, all the sample shows reduction in viscosity when the shear rate is increased. This result simply indicates that both the WLM system are Non-Newtonian fluid, while the phenomena of viscosity reduction is known as shear thinning effect. Shear thinning effect is a desirable properties for a drag reducing agent in order to reduce the drag forces in a turbulent flow inside a pipeline. When shear thinning was observed during high shear rate, we could conclude that the inter-miceller chains in WLM are undergoing stretching and the chain is being broken, making it more capable of dampening the eddies current in a turbulent flow. The structure of the WLM from the surfactant DRA will stick to the turbulent energy and

Ma Shian Ee

dampen the turbulent structure, hence reducing the energy in the flow rate. Frictional forces that formed as a result of fluid flow when come into contact with pipe wall, will form a lot of eddies which will affect the flow rate. However, when the eddies are dampened by WLM, the turbulent energy no longer exists and hence the flow pattern will


become more laminar. Consequently, pressure drop inside a pipeline will be reduced and this will lead to the increase in flow rate. WLM is believed to be an alternative solution for polymer drag reducing agent. WLM had proved to exhibit the same properties like polymer DRA, which is shear thinning upon high shear rate. 

References 1. Toms, B.A. (1949). Some observations on the flow of linear polymer solutions through straight tubes at large Reynolds numbers. 1st International Congress on Rheology, (pp. 2135– 2141). Amsterdam, Holland. 2. Berret, J.-F. (n.d.). Rheology of Wormlike Micelles: Equilibrium Properties and Shear Banding Transition. Wormlike Micelle , 52. 3. Burger, E.D., Munk, W.R., and Wahl, H.A.:"Flow increase in the Trans Alaska Pipeline Through Use of a Polymeric Drag-Reducing Additive", JPT (Feb 1982) 377-386 4. Çengel, Y., Turner, R. and Cimbala, J. (2011). Fundamentals of Thermal-Fluid Sciences. McGraw-Hill Education. 5. Gyr A and Bewersdorff H-W, "Drag Reduction of Turbulent Flows", Kluwer, (1995). 6. Israelchvili J.N., Intermolecular and Surface Forces, Academic Press, New York (1992). 7. Kuperkar, L.A., Danino, D., Verma, G., Hassan, P.A., Aswal, V.K., Varade, D. and Bahadur, P. (2008). "Structural investigation of viscoelastic micellar water/CTAB/NaNO3 solutions." PRAMANA 71(5): 1003-1008. 8. Larson, R.G. (1999). The Structure and Rheology of Complex Fluids. New York: Oxford University. 9. SKODA Research. (2001). Computation of “Boundary Layers” with FLUENT . SKODA Research -Fluid Department-. 10. Virk, P.S., 1975, “Drag Reduction Fundamentals,” Journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 21(4), 625-656. 11. Wahl, W.R., Beaty, W.R., Dopper, J.G. and Hass, G.R: "Drag Reducer Increase Oil Pipeline Flow Rates", SPE 10446 (Feb 1982)

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Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty


Experimental Investigation of Using Nanoparticles Dispersions to Improve Oil Recovery in Egyptian Fields Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty

Nanotechnology has become the buzz word of this decade! The precise manipulation and control of matter at dimensions of 1-100 nanometers have revolutionized a lot of industries including the Oil and Gas industry. Its broad impact on more than one discipline is making it of increasing interest to concerned parties. Egypt’s domestic demand for oil is increasing rapidly. Oil consumption has grown by more than 30% in the past ten years. Also, the hydrocarbon reserves in Egypt have witnessed an average increase of 5% per year over the past seven years, while the average recovery factor is still stuck at 35%. Nanotechnologies hold the key solutions to this local production challenge as it helps increase the recovered Oil and decrease the cost of production by eliminating some problems that occur throughout the field development operations. Fluids containing nanometer-sized particles; referred as Nano-fluids, are used at different stages of the field development to enhance the oil recovery via molecular modification and manipulate the interfacial characteristics. Nanofluids have the ability to increase oil recovery from aging reservoirs and meet that demand. Nanofluids; nanoparticle colloidal dispersions, have been investigated as an enhanced oil recovery method.

**The American University in Cairo ÞÞEgypt  University   Country   E-mail

Introduction Nanotechnology is the use of very small pieces of material, at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers by themselves or their manipulation to create new large scale materials, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. In simple terms, Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the Nano-scale. Nanotechnology draws its name from the prefix "nano". A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter-a distance equal from two to twenty atoms (depending on the type of atom) laid down next to each other. Nanotechnology refers to manipulating the structure of matter on a length scale of some small number of nanometers, interpreted by different people at different times as meaning anything from 0.1 nm (controlling the arrangement of individual atoms) to 100 nm or more (anything smaller than microtechnology). Richard Feynman was the first scientist, who suggested (in 1959) that devices and materials could someday be fabricated to atomic specifications. "The principles of physics, as

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Experimental Investigation of Using Nanoparticles Dispersions

Fig. 1 – The Scale of things referenced to Nanometer

far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom." This concept expanded and was popularized in a 1986 book Engines of Creation by K Eric Drexler, who applied the term nanotechnology to Feynman's vision. As shown in Fig. 1,it is a comparison between different scale things referenced to the nanometer. Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has become one of the recent interesting areas of Nanotechnology applications in Oil and Gas Industry. EOR is rarely applied in Egypt in spite of the recent local rise in energy demand which is expected to be met by the oil and gas industry. The ability of nanoparticles to alter certain factors in the formation and oil properties can be useful and enhance recovery. This involves introducing these nanoparticles into formations and studying its effect on oil recovery. A trial experiment has been done on Baharyia Sandstone Formation to prove the possibility of using Nanofluids as an advanced EOR method in Egypt in an attempt to meet the domestic oil demand.

Background The Nanoparticles in an aqueous dispersion will assemble themselves into structural arrays at a discontinuous phase such as oil, gas, paraffin, or polymer. The particles that are present in this three-phase contact region tend to form a wedge-like structure and force themselves between the discontinuous phase and the substrate as illustrated in Fig. 2. The Particles present in the bulk fluid exert pressure, forcing the particles in the confined region forward, imparting the disjoining pressure force. The energies that drive this mechanism are Brownian motion, and electrostatic repulsion between the particles (Kirtiprakash et al., 2012). The force imparted by a single particle is extremely weak, but when large amounts of small particles are present, referred as the particle volume fraction, the force can be upwards of 50,000 Pa at the vertex as shown in Fig. 3.

Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty


Fig. 2 – Nanoparticle structuring in the wedge-film resulting in structural disjoining pressure gradient at the wedge vertex

When this force is confined to the vertex of the discontinuous phases, displacement occurs in an attempt to regain equilibrium (Ogolo et al., 2012). The used nanoparticles oxides of Aluminum, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Zirconium, Nickel, Tin and Silicon. It was imperative to find out the effect of these nanoparticle oxides on oil recovery since this is the primary objective of the oil industry.

ticles. Two sets of experiments were conducted. The first involved displacing the injected oil with the nanofluids. In the second case, the sands were soaked in nanofluids for 60 days before oil was injected into the system and displaced with low salinity brine. Generally, their results indicated that using nanofluids to displace oil produced much better result.

These nanoparticles were used to conduct EOR experiments under surface conditions. Distilled water, brine, ethanol and diesel were used as the dispersing media for the nanopar-

This paper tries to investigate the usage of nanofluid for EOR in an Egyptian formation. Silica nanoparticles; with preferred size and concentration, are used in my experiment.

Fig. 3 – Nanoparticle structuring in the wedge-film

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Experimental Investigation of Using Nanoparticles Dispersions

Fig. 4 – Plugging, trimming, and grinding the core sample (AUC Core Lab.)

Apparatus shown in Fig. 7 was used for injection of Brine water at rate (0.2 cc/min) to displace Oil and the results were noted.

Experimental Work A core sample of Baharyia Sandstone formation (western Desert, Egypt) was obtained. It was plugged, trimmed and grinded as shown in Fig. 4.

Re-preparing the sample to the reservoir conditions and the injection of Nano fluid; 20 nm Silica particles (30%wt) at rate (0.2 cc/min) to displace Oil and the results were noted.

Dean Stark apparatus, shown in Fig. 5, and oven, displayed in Fig. 6, were used to clean and dry the core plugs. Porosity and permeability were measured for the plugs and the results are shown in Table 1. Sample Length (mm)

76.97 mm

Sample Diameter (mm)

25.23 mm

Core Porosity (%)

26 %

Core Absolute Permeability (mD)

378.73 Md

Table 1 – The used core plug dimensions and properties

Experiments Procedure: Preparing the sample to simulate the reservoir conditions. Brine water (65,000 PPM-65g (NaCl)/L) was used to simulate the connate water saturation with the same formation water salinity, Mineral Oil with density 891 Kg/ m3 (27.3 API) and Confining Pressure about 750 Psi was applied to simulate the overburden pressure.

Fig. 5 – Dean Stark (AUC Core Lab.)


Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty

Results and Discussion


The recovered oil percentages are plotted vs. the volume of the injected fluid; in terms of Pore Volume PV, as shown in Fig. 8. It is obvious that using water flooding to displace the oil in place recovered 36% of IOIP at the

The present study of using Nanotechnology in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has led to several conclusions that are important from the author’s viewpoint.

Fig. 6 – Oven used in core drying (AUC Core Lab.) breakthrough point while the Nanofluid flooding recovered 67% of IOIP at the breakthrough point. This is an evidence for the ability of the Nanofluid to displace the oil better than the water. There was an attempt to exploit the natural resources of Egypt in pure silica sand and produce the silica nanoparticles mechanically, using a simple ball mill. The mill consists of electric motor, rotating rod and of different size stainlessteel balls. With the support of Dr Ahmed Ragab; physics professor at Suez University, the sample of silica sand was left in the mill fo 16 hours and the result was amazingly satisfying for that primary trial. We managed to reach 156.03 nm particles. (Fig. 9)

1. N ano fluids are stable colloidal dispersions that accelerate the recovery of hydrocarbon from oil reservoirs by the usage of the unique enabling mechanism of disjoining pressure. 2. The nanoparticles, in Nano Particles Dispersion (NPD), utilize this mechanism to form a self-assembled wedge-shaped film on contact with a discontinuous phase, thereby recovering more fluids than previously possible with conventional additives or fluids. 3. There is an interesting area of preparing silica nanoparticles by mechanical method using Egyptian resources of silica sand. 4. The obtained results showed the promising future of Petroleum-Oriented Nanotechnology in Egypt and how we can meet our oil demand using this advanced technology. 

Fig. 7 – The Flooding Apparatus (AUC Core Lab.)

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Experimental Investigation of Using Nanoparticles Dispersions

Fig. 8 – Recovery factor vs. injected pore volume

Fig. 9 – TEM pictures of Nano silica particles; X 25000 (left) and X 15000 (right)

Abdelrahman Ibrahim El-Diasty


References 1. Abdelrahman I. El-Diasty and Adel M. Salem: ‘Applications of Nanotechnology in the Oil & Gas industry: Latest Trends worldwide & Future Challenges in Egypt’, SPE 164716, North Africa Technical Conference and Exhibition (NATC), Cairo, Egypt, 15-17 April 2013. 2. Abdelrahman I. El-Diasty: ‘The Revolution that Nanotechnology is about to Bring to the Oil & Gas Industry’, ‘Actual Problems of Science and Technologies’, Online Conference organized by USPTU_SPE, Russia, 16 Nov., 2012. 3. Kirtiprakash Kondiparty, Alex D. Nikolov, Darsh Wasan, and Kuan-Liang Liu: “Dynamic Spreading of Nanofluids on Solids. Part I Experimental”, American Chemical Society, Langmuir, 2012, 28 (41), pp. 14618–14623, DOI: 10.1021/la3027013, Publication Date (Web): September 11, 2012. 4. Paul McElfresh, David Holcomb and Daniel Ector: “Application of Nanofluid Technology to Improve Recovery in Oil and Gas Wells,” SPE 154827-MS presented at the SPE International Oilfield Nanotechnology Conference, 12-14 June 2012, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. 5. Ogolo, N. A., O.A. Olafuyi and Onyekonwu, M. O.: “Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Nanoparticles” SPE 160847-MS presented at SPE Saudi Arabia Section Technical Symposium and Exhibition, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 8-11 April 2012.

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution in Foam Drilling Fluid Yap Sze Yong

Foam’s stability can be expressed in halflife and bubble sizes and its distribution. The longer the half-life of the foam, the more stable it is. Foam with small bubble size shows rigidity at the interface while larger bubbles show mobile liquid-gas interface which will enhance the film thinning between bubbles and rupture it. A relationship equation was created between these two definitions and it showed an inversely proportional relation.

Introduction Underbalanced drilling is a type of managed pressure drilling technique which is used to drill oil and gas wells where the pressure in the wellbore is kept lower than the fluid pressure in the formation being drilled. Foam generates low Equivalent Circulation Density (ECD) which makes it a lightweight drilling fluid, apart from possessing good lubricating characteristic and hole cleaning ability. These characteristics have brought foam drilling more advantages: namely, they eliminate formation damage, reduce lost circulation, increase bit life and performance, and reduce the possibility of differential pipe sticking. Generally, an underbalanced drilling requires longer time to plan the drilling of a well and this may raise cost, however it also has the potential to raise production due to the improved flow of oil and gas, fewer wells are required to drain reservoirs and overall environmental footprints are smaller. Despite all the advantages of the foam drilling operation, the characterization of foam properties un-

**Universiti Teknologi Malaysia ÞÞMalaysia  University   Country   E-mail

der drilling conditions is still incomplete and foam structures can be very complex. Three different types of stabilizers, namely xanthan gum, glass beads, and polymer beads were examined to prolong the stability of the foam and xanthan gum was found to have given the longer half-life and smaller bubble size.

Foam Stability Since foam is a two-phase system possessing a considerable amount of interracial area, it possesses a significant amount of surface free energy. Decomposition of the foam into its two constituent phases results in decrease of this surface free energy and hence is a spontaneous process. This decrease can take place suddenly as it happens when a film is ruptured either mechanically or spontaneously, or it can take place slowly through the diffusion of gas from small bubbles through the solution membrane into larger bubbles. The latter process occurs both because of the higher capillary pressure of the smaller bubbles than in the bigger bubbles and because the ratio of surface area to surface volume decreases with increasing diameter [1].

Yap Sze Yong

Gravity is one of the reasons to cause the disruption by forcing the liquid content towards the bottom whereas pushing the gas constituent towards the top to let them free themselves. Surface tension of the liquid in a bubble wall tends to collapse the bubble; the gas pressure inside the bubble balances this. The gas pressure within a bubble is inversely proportional to the bubble size. When a large bubble contacts a smaller bubble, the higher gas pressure inside the smaller cell causes the gas inside it diffuse through the liquid separating the two bubbles, until the smaller bubble is fully absorbed by the larger. If the walls of the bubbles are strengthened more, foam would be more stable and the drainage of the liquid would be slower. Certain proteins, for instance, if added into the liquid phase of an air foam would react with oxygen at the air-liquid interface to form a skin. Increasing the bulk viscosity of the liquid phase slows drainage. Surfactant mixtures can increase the surface viscosity of the base fluid, and this can also slow drainage through bubble walls [17]. There are many different surfactants being used in the oilfield application. In this research, sodium dodecyl sulphate (anionic surfactant) was used as the surfactant. In drilling operations, anionic surfactants have polar group, which is negatively charged, and are the most broadly used. Meanwhile, cationic surfactants instead have a polar group, which is positively charged, and less often used in industry. Quaternary ammonium chlorides do not perform well in fresh water, give poor to mediocre foam stability and must be used at high concentrations. Nevertheless, cationic surfactants may be worth considering for drilling water sensitive shales, because of their ability to stabilize clays [17]. Surfactant and water soluble polymers have very broad ranges of application. One of the most significant aspects of a surfactant is the ability to lower the interfacial tension between an aqueous solution and


some other phase. Therefore, anionic surfactant and water soluble polymers can be a good combination to stabilize foam. Xanthan gum is chosen as the water soluble polymers used in the experiment. Unlike guar gum, the solution of xanthan gum, is unaffected by shear and it is residue free in broken gel. These properties of xanthan have necessitated the need to investigate the possibility of using xanthan gum as a gelling agent for foam systems [14]. On the other hand, another way to stabilize the bubble’s structure is by introducing particle type stabilizer. When two air bubbles approach each other, a thin liquid film is formed between them whose thickness decreases gradually due to the drainage of the liquid. The film eventually ruptures due to attractive molecular forces operating at the interfaces upon reaching a certain thickness. The presence of the particles in the inter-film may inhibit the liquid drainage by creating a steric barrier. The magnitude of the barrier depends on the particle size, concentration, shape, and contact angle and the orientation of the particles at the interface [3]. Styrene-divinylbenzene microsphere (Sty-DVB1000) which is a nano-particle polymer beads and glass beads (Soda Lime Microsphere) were chosen as the particle stabilizers used in the study as they are chemically inert, temperature stable and incompressible, and they can be removed with conventional mud solid handling equipment as well. A recent study by Zhaomin et al. on foam stability shows that the additions of particles to a foam system (multiphase foam) affect the drainage rate. They also reported that the size and concentration of the particles affect a ‘multiphase foam’ system stability; the smaller the size, the more stable the foam [14]. On the other hand, bubble size and bubble size distribution were measured under a microscope. Both the mean bubble diameter and bubble size distribution were the functions of foam stability.

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

Fig. 1.1 – Foam height and half-life measurement and comparison in measuring cylinder

Methodology The bulk foam stability evaluation is used to determine the coalescence time of the foam. The stability of the aqueous foam was evaluated by the Ross-Miles method, using half-life measurements with the technique of blender agitation [13]. The apparatus and materials used in this study are comprised of Waring high speed blender, Leica stereo microscope, foam-based mud, stabilizers (xanthan gum, glass beads and Sty-DVB1000), and surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulphate). Leica stereo microscope was used to obtain bubbles image to measure their size, shape and distribution. Blender was used to generate foam sample (30 seconds blending for each sample) with foam formulation as such:

Results and Discussions The Effect of Xanthan Gum Concentration Xanthan gum is normally used in the petroleum industry as a thickener (viscosifier)

for drilling, workover and completion fluids. Its use is limited to acid concentrations up to 15% and temperature of 200°F or less. The viscosity decreases with time because of physical or chemical degradation in most of the water soluble polymers. Shearing effect causes physical degradation, while chemical degradation can come from oxidation, acid hydrolysis, thermal rupture, or enzyme attack. An increase in temperature, pH, ionic strength, and slight increase in concentration of reducing agents accelerate these mechanisms. Polymer gels like guar, HPG, HEC, and CMHEC can degrade within a matter of minutes in the presence of acid hydrolysis. On the other hand, unlike guar and HPG, the solution of xanthan gum, is unaffected by shear and it is residue free in broken gel. These properties of xanthan have necessitated the need to investigate the possibility of using xanthan gum as a gelling agent for foam systems [14]. Fig. 2.1 shows the half-life reading for foam drilling fluid with increasing concentrations of xanthan gum. As the concentration of xanthan gum increases, the half-life increases


Yap Sze Yong

Fig. 1.2 – Leica Microscope

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

Fig. 2.1 – Effect of xanthan gum concentration in foam drilling fluid

Fig. 2.2 – Half-life for different types of microspheres stabilizer


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Fig. 2.3 – Comparison between SDS, SDS + 0.3% Xanthan gum, SDS + 1.0 Sty-DVB1000 and SDS + 3% Glass Beads accordingly, in another words, the stability of the foam is enhanced as well. The addition of polymer has decreased the solubility and diffusivity of the gas in the liquid phase as the liquid became more viscous. This would reduce the permeability of the lamella and slow down the drainage rate and rate of thinning of bubble’s wall. As a result, the rate of inter bubble gas diffusion decreased and the disappearance rate of smaller bubbles was slowed down. On the other hand, the addition of xanthan gum into foam solution could increase mechanical strength of the foam films. As a result, liquid drains at a slower rate through the lamellae film. The introduction of xanthan will not only increase the viscosity of the liquid phase but enhance the film to become more closely packed with high surface viscosity. With the reduction of drainage rate and thickening of the bubble’s wall, foams are much more stable. However, xanthan gum will only give the best effect at an optimum low concentration by weight.

Microsphere Stabilizer Particles and surfactant are very important in developing the stable foam and emulsions. This happenes due to the interaction between the particles and surfactant that has affinity for the interface between the two phases. The addition of nanoparticles in the surfactant systems yields better elasticity of the foam lamellae film compared to the absence one [16]. By introducing particles in the foam, the particles tend to form a steric barrier which encloses the bubbles [8]. From Fig. 2.2, Sty-DVB1000 microspheres managed to stabilize the foam up to 15.84 minutes which was roughly five minutes longer than the glass bead with half-life of 10.35 minutes. This might be due to the surface of the particle which possesses partially hydrophobic characteristic which gave the particle the force to remain in the interface of the bubbles. As highlighted by [4], the differences in surface activities will give different impact as revealed by polystyrene with hydrophobic characteristic and silica with polar and

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

Fig. 2.4 – Bubble distribution for different types of stabilizer hydrophilic characteristics. It was found that very hydrophilic or very hydrophobic are lost from the lamellae except for particles of intermediate hydrophobicity would remain within the surface [3][4][5][12]. Fig. 2.3 shows the comparison between SDS, SDS + 0.3% Xanthan gum (water soluble stabilizer), SDS + 1.0 Sty-DVB1000 (polymer beads) and SDS + 3% soda lime microsphere (glass beads). From the half-life reading, we could conclude that xanthan gum was the best stabilizer when anionic sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) was used as the surfactant, with half-life reading of 187 minutes, which is almost 20 times greater than SDS fluid. Water-soluble polymers stabilize foams by increasing either the surface or bulk viscosity of the film, thus increasing the film elasticity or decreasing the film drainage rate more effectively than particle stabilizers. They are often effective at lower concentrations than other organic additives, and more compatible with different types of foaming systems [15].

Bubble Distribution Bubble size distribution is the most significant factor in determining foam stability. Surface tension of the liquid in a bubble wall tends to collapse the bubble; the gas pressure inside the bubble balances it [6]. The gas pressure within a bubble is inversely proportional to the bubble size. When a large bubble contacts a smaller bubble, the higher gas pressure inside the smaller cell causes the gas inside it to diffuse through the liquid separating the two bubbles, until the smaller bubble is fully absorbed by the larger [17]. Fig. 2.4 shows the bubble distribution for SDS, SDS + 0.3% xanthan gum, and SDS + 1% StyDVB1000. Generally, the bubbles sizes are in the range of 100 µm to 1000 µm. SDS has bubble size distribution from 200 µm to 800 µm, with an average bubble diameter of 444 µm. Meanwhile, SDS + 0.3% xanthan gum has the most of its bubble size distribution from 100 µm to 600 µm, with an average bubble diameter of 178 µm. SDS + 1% Sty-DVB1000 has the most of its bubble size distribution from 100


Yap Sze Yong

Fig. 2.5 – Microscopic image of SDS

µm to 800 µm, with an average bubble diameter of 280 µm. The average bubble diameters for the samples were determined using formulae of ‘mean’ or ‘average’. There are several factors influencing the bubble distribution, such as viscosity, foam quality, and coalescence [2]. The bubble size is inversely proportional to the viscosity of the bulk liquid where lower viscosity gave larger mean bubbles [6]. From the results obtained, it could be summarized that SDS + 0.3% xanthan gum produced the highest viscosity, followed by SDS + 1% Sty-DVB1000 and SDS according to their bubble distribution and average bubble diameter. In conclusion, the higher the bulk fluid viscosity, the smaller the bubble diameter and distribution range. This is in good agreement with the results from [2] and [6]. It also confirmed that xanthan gum is a better stabilizer than glass and polymer beads. When the viscosity is high, smaller bubbles take a longer time to diffuse the gas inside it through the liquid phase separating with other larger bubbles. Thus, at high viscosity, average bubble diameter of the foam is smaller. Bubble Shape The shapes of the bubbles are used as a means of foam classification. Bubbles will tend to be spherical in shape, as a result of minimum energy principle. If the bubble concentration is high or the foam is freshly generated, this

Fig. 2.6 – Microscopic image of SDS+0.3% xanthan gum

Fig. 2.7 – Microscopic image of SDS + 1% Sty-DVB1000

type of foam is called spherical foam. Apart from this, foams with polyhedral bubbles are named to be polyhedral foams. As it is known from geometrical relations, the amount of liquid volume is higher in spherical foams than in polyhedral foams. This is because polyhedral foams have more facings in their bubble structures than the case of spherical foams. The liquid phase in the case of spherical foams is thicker than the polyhedral foams [10]. As the foam quality increases, the average bubble size of the foam increases, and the circularity of the foam decreases [17]. In other words, stable foam consists of low quality foam (wet foam) with longer half-life, smaller average bubble size, and spherical in shape [9]. Fig. 2.5–2.7 illustrate the images of bubble shape for different type of foam sample. Fig. 2.5 shows the bubble of hexagonal shape in

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

Fig. 2.8 – The relationship between half-life (minutes) and average bubble diameter (bubble distribution) foam drilling fluid. Meanwhile, the shape of bubbles for SDS + 0.3% xanthan gum is perfectly spherical and SDS + 1% Sty-DVB1000 nearly spherical in shape, as shown in the Fig.s 2.6 and 2.7 respectively. These results are in good agreement with previous studies which had mentioned that the stable foam has well rounded bubbles while easy broken foam has a polyhedral to hexagonal shape [11].

shown a better performance compared to particle stabilizers. Therefore, the relationship between half-life and bubble distribution in terms of average bubble diameter was investigated.

One of the objectives of this research was to find the relationship between foam stability in terms of half-life and bubble distribution. Both parameters are often used to describe the foam behaviour and stability but there were few researchers who studied the relationship between these two parameters. Stable foam will have long half-life and small bubble diameter or average bubble diameter (bubble distribution).

Fig. 2.8 shows the variation of half-life and average bubble diameter (bubble distribution) at increasing xanthan gum concentration. From the graph, the linear equation representing the relationship between increasing xanthan gum concentration and average bubble diameter is given by y = -1565x + 655.33 with the correlation coefficient of R2 = 0.9925. R²=1 means a perfect correlation between two variables. In other words, xanthan gum concentration and average bubble diameter are perfectly correlated to each other. On the other hand, the relationship between half-life and increasing xanthan gum concentration is represented by y = 725x – 40 with R2 = 0.9689. Once again the R2 value is almost equals to one and therefore, this equation is perfectly correlated.

Bubble distribution of a foam drilling fluid is represented by the average bubble diameter of all the bubbles in the foam sample [1]. From the previous results, xanthan gum has

Having concluded that both equations and relationships are valid and perfectly correlated to each other, we can combine and represent the relationship between half-life and bub-

Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution


Yap Sze Yong

Fig. 2.9 – The relationship equation between half-life (min) and average bubble diameter (bubble distribution) ble distribution (average bubble diameter) as shown in Fig. 2.9. From the graph, the equation generated is y = -2.124x + 565.35 with R2 = 0.9918. Once again, R2 value is almost equals to one which means that this equation is perfectly correlated too. This graph also proved to the theory saying an inversely proportional relationship between half-life and bubble distributions.

This is due to the half-life of a drilling fluid could go up to 3-4 hours or longer with just 0.3 % wt. of xanthan gum added. Therefore, by knowing the average bubble diameter of the foam drilling fluid, we can predict its halflife and this can save lots of time.

With a R2 value of almost equals to one, we can predict either half-life or average bubble diameter of foam drilling fluid using the equation if one of the variables is known. However, the conditions to this equation are: the stabilizer used must be xanthan gum with sodium dodecyl sulphate as the surfactant in low concentration; it can only use to predict the variables at room temperature and pressure.

After analyzing the experimental results, there are several conclusions which could be made as follows:

Therefore, further studies could be conducted to investigate the validity of this equation to develop a better accuracy equation. The equation between half-life and bubble distribution (average bubble diameter) is beneficial especially in predicting half-life of a foam drilling fluid.


Xanthan gum is a better stabilizer and it produces higher bulk fluid viscosity than StyDVB1000 and glass beads. Foam drilling fluid with 0.3 % wt. xanthan gum shows half-life of eighteen times longer than basic-based mud. It also has smaller average bubble diameter which makes it sustain longer without rupturing. Stable foam has high circularity bubbles in nature while easy broken foam has a polyhedral to hexagonal shape. There is an inversely proportional relationship between stability and bubble distribution. 

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The Relationship between Stability and Bubble Distribution

References 1. Amiel D., and Mardsen S.S. (1969), “The Rheology of Foam,” SPE 2544 2. Amna Gumati and Hiroshi Takahashi, (2001) “Experimental Study and Modeling of Pressure Loss for Foam-Cuttings Mixture Flow in Horizontal Pipe”, Journal of Hydrodynamics, 23 (4), 431-438 3. Ata, S. (2008) “Coalescence of Bubbles Covered by Particles.” Langmuir. 4. Binks, J.H. Clint, P.D.I. Fletcher, T.S. Horozov, B. Neumann, V.N. Paunov, J. Annesley, S.W. Botchway, D. Nees, A.W. Parker, A.D. Ward and A.N. Burgess (2002) “Measurement of long-range repulsive forces between charged particles at an oil-water interface”. R. Aveyard, B.P.. Phys. Rev. Lett., 88, 246102-1 – 246102-4. 5. Du, Z., Bilbao-Montoya, M. P., Binks, B. P., Dickinson, E., Ettelaie, R., and Murray, B. S. (2003). “Stability Of A Flat Gas-Liquid Interface Containing Nonidentical Spheres To Gas Transport: Toward An Explaination Of Particle Stabilization Of Gas Bubbles.” Langmuir. 6. Engelsen, C.W., Isarin, J.C., Goojier, H., Warmoeskerken, M.M.C.G., and Wassink, J.G. (2002). “Bubble Size Distribution of Foam.” AUTEX Research Journal, Vol 2, No1 7. Horozov, T. S. (2008). "Foams and Foam Films Stabilised by Solid Particles." Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 13(3): 134-140. 8. Hunter, T.N., Pugh, R.J., Franks, G.V., Jameson, G.J. (2008). “The role of particles in stabilising foams & emulsions”, Adv. in Colloid & Int. Sci., 137, 57-81. 9. Kuru, E., Okunsebor, O. M., and Li, Y. (2005). “Hydraulic Optimization of Foam Drilling For Maximum Drilling Rate in Vertical Wells.” SPE-91610-PA-P, December. 10. Nosakhare Osemwegie Ibizugbe (2012). “Drainage Behaviour of Oil-Based Drilling Foam under Ambient Conditions.” BSc. Thesis University of Oklahoma. 11. Ozbayoglu M. E. (2009). “Optimization of Liquid and Gas Flow Rates for Aerated Drilling Fluids Considering Hole Cleaning For Vertical and Low Inclination Wells.” PAPER 2009-041 accepted for the Proceedings of the Canadian International Petroleum Conference (CIPC), Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 16-18 June. 12. Rodrigues, J. A. et al. (2011). "Generation and Manipulation of Bubbles and Foams Stabilised by Magnetic Nanoparticles." Colloids and Surfaces: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 384(1-3): 408-416. 13. Rojas Y., Kakadjian S., Aponte A., Marquez R., and Sanchez G. (2001). “Stability and Rheological Behaviour of Aqueous Foams for Underbalanced Drilling.” SPE 64999 presented at the 2001 SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry held in Houston, Texas. 13-16 February. 14. Sani A. M., Shah S. N., Baldwin L.,“ Experimental Investigation of Xanthan Foam Rheology,” SPE Paper 67263, Production and Operations Symposium held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 24–27 March 2001. 15. Schramm, L. L., and Kutay S. M. (2000) “Structure/Performance Relationships for Surfactant Stabilized Foams in Porous Media”. Paper 2000-64 accepted for the Proceedings of the Canadian International Petroleum Conference (CIPC) 2000, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 4-8 June. 16. Singh, S., Ahmed, R., and Growcock, F. (2010). “Vital Role of Nanopolymers in Drilling and Stimulations Fluid Applications” SPE 130413 SPE presented at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19-22 September. 17. Tuna E. (2004). “Foam Characterization: Bubbles Size and Texture Effects.” BSc. Thesis Middle East Technical Univerisity. 18. Zhaomin, L., Zupeng, L., Binfei, L., Songyan, L. and Shuhua, W. 2012. Aqueous Foams Stabilized with Particles and Surfactants.Paper SPE 160840 Presented at the SPE Technical Symposium and Exhibition, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 8-11 April.


Stepan Shpakov


Determination of Optimal Conditions for Separation in the Preparation of Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) for Use on Gas Piston Power Plant (GPP) Stepan Shpakov

The purpose of this project is to develop an optimized technology of preparation APG through the combination of optimal temperature and pressure conditions in the separator, which will greatly reduce the cost of preparing APG and increase the use of its resources. Based on data obtained, we calculated the methane number of gas which is produced at the first stage of separation on the oilfields in Western Siberia. The main problems of oil and gas industry are non-rational use of mineral resources and the absence of complex production technologies and cost-effective utilization of hydrocarbons. For achieving strategic objectives of the oil and gas industry we can solve the problems of resource saving and energy efficiency, especially acute if given the task of the fullest possible recycling and saving resource of associated gas. Therefore, our work is part of the strategic objectives of the development of Russian energy industry. In recent times gas piston power plant (GPP) is more prevalent in connection with the realization of energy saving programs by oil companies for the use of dissolved gas to 95%. GPP represents the ICE (internal combustion engine) that uses petroleum gas as fuel. The

**Tyumen State Oil and Gas University ÞÞRussia ŠŠSergey Leontiev, Ph.D.  University   Country   E-mail   Supervisor

energy released during combustion, produces the mechanical work of the shaft that is used to generate electricity. Nowadays in Russia, on the torches burned annually up to 60% of total production of associated gas is about 20 billion cubic meters (which equals 1.25 billion U.S. dollars) with the loss of light liquid hydrocarbons up to 2 million tons (which equals 300 million dollars)... per year!!! The purpose of this project is to develop an optimized technology of preparation APG through the combination of optimal temperature and pressure conditions in the separator, which will greatly reduce the cost of preparing APG and increase the use of its resources. The main indicator of the fuel gas is methane number, which characterizes the ability of gases to combust without detonation. This in turn allows the engine to operate without disruption and additional stress.

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Determination of Optimal Conditions for Separation

The following chart presents the values of methane number for the components of associated gas (Table 1): component

methane number (MN)

methane CH4


ethane C2H6


propane C3H8


isobutene i C4H8


n-butene C4H8


propylene C3H6


isobutane i C4H10


ethylene C2H4


n-butane n C4H10


hydrogen H2


To calculate the concentration of gas components associated to each separation stage, we have used our software, which allows making calculations considering the temperature and the pressure in the separator. For the calculation of the methane number, we used a software product of AVL Company. Based on retrieved data, we calculated methane number of gas which is produced at the first stage of separation on Vyngapurovskoye, Vyngoyahskoye, Karamonovskoye, Kraynee,

Muravlenkovskoye, Sporyshenskoye, Sutorminskoye, Kholmogorskoye and Sugmutskoye oilfields in Western Siberia. Oilfields are developed by JSC "Gazprom Neft - NNG." We calculated and proposed the optimal pressure and temperature conditions for separation, with minimal training to use gas as a fuel. The figures show the research of oil fields in the Noyabrsk region of Western Siberia with light, middle and heavy oil. For optimal operation of power plants required methane number is 54–56. Based on of the work performed and the research, the following conclusions can be drawn: 1. Selection of the optimal conditions can be used as fuel gas without additional preparation. 2. In the oil retained about 20% of light liquid hydrocarbons. 3. Subsoil user is able to reduce the cost of oil production by avoiding the cost of preparing the gas or payments related to the burning of gas. 4. The state is able to stimulate the production of unprofitable oil fields. 

Fig. 1 – For light oil of Vyngoyahinskoe field optimal conditions are 10 degrees and 0.7 MPa or 15 degrees and 0.8 MPa.


Stepan Shpakov

Fig. 2 – For middle oil of Sutorminskoye field optimal conditions are 20 degrees and 0.6 MPa or 25 degrees and 0.8 MPa.

Fig. 3 – For heavy oil of Sporyshevskoye field optimal conditions are 20 degrees and 0.7 MPa or 25 degrees and 0.8 MPa.

References 1. Ivanov SS, Tarasov. M. Requirements for the preparation of the dissolved gas to power gas engines / / Oil Industry. - 2011. - № 1. - S. 102-105. 2. Leontiev SA, Galikeev RM, MV Umerenkov The use of associated petroleum gas for own needs Khokhryakovskoye field / / Science and Energy. - 2011. - № 3 - p.37-43. 3. Tarasov, M., Ivanov SS Preparation of gas to power gas-piston power / / Oil Industry. - 2009. - № 2. - C. 46-49.

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Jesten Nigeil

conference |Malaysia Paper Contest

´´ Fuelling Sustainable Green Energy Jesten Nigeil The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPEUTM) Student Chapter organised Shell Inter-Varsity Student Paper Presentation Contest (S-SPEC 2013) which was solely sponsored by Shell. S-SPEC 2013 was held in Senate Hall, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, Johor on the 17th and 18th day of May, 2013. The theme “Fuelling Sustainable Green Energy” came at very appropriate time, that was the moment where the rising awareness of expanding the recovery of energy resources were needed as it is essential in industrialization and sustainable development for the national glory. Briefly about the history, S-SPEC was first successfully organised by SPE-UTM Student Chapter and Faculty of Chemical and Natural Resources Engineering (FKKKSA) in 2002 with the collaboration of Shell. Shell played a

vital role in the achievement of S-SPEC, not only as the sole sponsor of S-SPEC, but also as the advisor that led towards the great success of S-SPEC. Every year, this contest received good feedback from undergraduates and postgraduates from local and private universities. With great success over years, SPE-UTM Student Chapter and Faculty of Petroleum and Renewable Energy Engineering (FPREE) wish to continue this effort to organise S-SPEC 2013 for the 12th time together with Shell. The event aimed at providing a platform for the students to present their ideas in the fields of engineering, technology, health, science and environment and to develop new ideas in order to shape our future as well. It was also hoped to instil awareness among them on the importance of innovations and inspiring activity for shaping tomorrow’s

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future. The purpose of this contest was to spark fresh ideas to trigger the development of valuable technologies to meet the future energy demands. Since Shell has been the largest investor in research and development, this contest provided the golden opportunity for the students to contribute their creativity and innovations in sustainable development of cleaner energy. Besides, it served as a platform to enhance networking and the sharing of knowledge among the researches. S-SPEC 2013 was participated by various universities such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UMS), Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), International Islamic University Malaysia (UIA), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Unitar), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Multimedia University (MMU) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). S-SPEC 2013 was officiated by Professor Dr Mohd. Ismail Abd. Aziz, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Alumni. Besides, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to YoungPetro for being official media partner of S-SPEC 2013. The programmes organized during S-SPEC 2013 were as followed: Paper Presentation Contest 1. Poster Presentation Contest 2. Exhibition 3. Reception Dinner Interactive Sessions with Shell 1. Careers with Shell Malaysia ÈÈ Mock Interview Workshop ÈÈ Resume Writing

Fuelling Sustainable Green Energy

The paper and poster presentation contest were the main programmes of S-SPEC 2013. Prior to the event, the submission of research abstracts that were related to major technical categories and in line with the theme were opened for both undergraduates and postgraduates. Based on the abstracts, professional judges from Shell screened and decided on the finalists for both paper and poster competition. For paper contest, the finalists were required to present their full research paper during the event. Meanwhile, for the poster contest, finalists were required to print out an A0 poster containing the summary of their research and exhibit it during the event day. They also had to present their posters to the judges. Moreover, this competition was to test the abilities of the participant in terms of their confidence in tackling critical thinking questions enquired by panel of judges and also audience. Moreover, throughout the event, exhibition was held simultaneously at the hallway on both days. The exhibition included the exhibition by the students’ societies in UTM including SPE-UTM Student Chapter. In addition, reception dinner was held at the first day of the event to welcome all of the finalists. The aim was to strengthen the bond between the organisers; Shell representatives and organising committees of S-SPEC as well as the finalists. As a sub-programme of S-SPEC 2013, interactive activities such as Career with Shell were held to expose university students with vital and useful information regarding job opportunity in Shell. There were two categories: Technical student session and Commercial student session. Some of interactive activities between the Shell representatives and the students have been designed to ensure an important and beneficial experience for all audience as well as providing an opportunity to expand the network between students, societies and professionals from Shell.

Jesten Nigeil

Apart from that, Mock Interview Workshop was held during S-SPEC 2013. The Mock interview workshop helped the job applicants to learn what is expected in a job interview and improved the applicant’s self-presentation. The Mock interview coach provided constructive elements on all aspects of the interview process. This interview workshop was a safe place to learn interview skills and gain feedback. Besides, resume writing workshop was conducted in order to expose participants on correct writing skills of resume and the tips on how to make the resume marketable. To sum up, this event aimed at providing a platform for the students to present their ideas in the fields of technical, which com-


prise Health, Safety and Environment. This event was not only restricted to students from the petroleum engineering background, but it was open to all UNDERGRADUATES and POSTGRADUATES from various engineering courses. We hope that S-SPEC 2013 has indeed inspired all participants and observers to take up challenges by contributing their innovative ideas and creative solutions towards identifying the next alternative sustainable energy for better tomorrow. We would like to congratulate all participants and the winners of this year’s SSPEC. Lastly, I wish to express my gratitude once again in making S-SPEC 2013 possible. 

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Meeting Global Trends and Academic Needs

conference | Student Shale Days 2013

´´ Meeting Global Trends and Academic Needs Barbara Pach Such a long time has passed since Student Shale Days 2013 was held but we stay still impressed by this event. From the 7th till the 9th day of June 2013 the assembly room at AGH University of Technology were full of people discussing on shale gas. It was an event first of its kind gathering international students, lecturers and experts in the field of geology and geophysics. The goal was to broaden horizons and expand knowledge about prospection and the extraction of shale gas, as well as its economic and environmental aspects. Eventually, the aim was achieved! The event became a success of Student Geophysical Society Geophone – the

organizer of Student Shale Days 2013. Geophone is a very energizing student organization, attracting students of geophysics, geology and drilling.

Let’s fight harming stereotypes! From the very beginning all the participants were aware of many problems, discoveries, social and scientific aspects on shale gas to talk about. Nowadays, the topic of unconventional deposits is very popular in many countries but there’re still harmful stereo-


Barbara Pach

types. However, we can get rid of them by expanding reliable knowledge. That’s the reason why the first edition of Student Shale Days was worth to participate.

I got to know about Shale Days conference in Krakow from YoungPetro delegates I had met in Almaty in Kazakhstan. My attendance at Shale Days conference was not only fruitful academically but also it was a good chance to get to know new people and admire beautiful Krakow. Thank you everyone for helping me take part in the conference and have a good time in Krakow! — Jinsok Sung, Gubkin State University of Oil and Gas, Moscow

Important people and important topics There is a big hope connected with shale gas deposits in Poland but at the same time it arouses many problems. During the event several specialists were explaining the situation of Polish shale gas. It was, for example, Bogusław Sonik, who is a member of European Parliament and author of the project about the impact of shale gas extraction on the environment, which was accepted by the European Parliament. The schedule was full of interesting speakers’ speeches. For example, we had a pleasure to listen to the interesting speech of Paweł Poprawa - an expert in unconventional gas and oil, one of the most experienced geologists in Poland. Moreover, Chief Technology Officer of MicroSeismic Inc., Michael Thornton, shared his experience with the Student Shale Days participants. Today, we encourage you to read the interview with him which you will find in the next issue of YoungPetro.

Cooperation, competition, fun! Student Shale Days gathered students of various faculties: from geophysics, through geology and drilling, petroleum engineering to economy. They had a chance to combine their skills during numerous workshops. The editors of YoungPetro – Jan Wypijewski, Maciej Wawrzkowicz and I - we couldn’t lose such a great opportunity to check and improve our practical experience. We took part in Workshops of Michael P. Lewis, Discovery GeoServices Corporation President and AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist, with over 33 years of experience as an active petroleum geologist and manager. Thanks to very friendly atmosphere, it was a great joy for all of us. In small groups we had to point on the map the best place for horizontal drilling. The project was based on real data. We had to take into consideration every of the following aspects: geological, environmental, economic etc. At first, we asked ourselves: “How is it possible? We can’t do it, we are just students!” But it has turned out that when we work in team - we can do everything. The most important experience was that we could feel like in real future job. Cooperation, competition, fun – that’s how we can resume all the practical initiatives organized by students from Geophone during Student Shale Days!

See you next year! That’s really good news that several students from different countries got to know about Student Shale Days 2013 thanks to YoungPetro – Media Partner of this event. You’re always up-to-date with YoungPetro! Hope to meet you again during Student Shale Days 2014! We can’t wait!

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How It Works

How It Works? Maciej Wawrzkowicz

Welcome my friends! Today, we will be saying a little bit about drilling mud and its functions. I am sure you have heard that this well fluid is one of the most important thing during the process of wellbore performance. Without mud, the operation of drilling would be impossible. What does make the drilling mud necessary and the most valuable well fluid? Let’s develop following subject. Properly designed and maintained drilling fluid performs essential functions during well construction. To the main tasks of drilling mud belong: controlling pressure, cleaning the hole from cuttings, cooling and lubricating the bit, stabilizing wellbore, carrying information about drilled rock formations and the location of the drill bit in the ground (measurement while drilling system). One of the most important functions is pressure controlling. Exerting a hydrostatic pressure, mud counteracts pressure of the drilled formations preventing from blowing out and providing safety. That is why the relevant weight of the mud is one of the most important fluid’s parameters. Furthermore, additional substances included in drilling mud prevent pipelines from corrosion what is important especially during operations in salt domes. By creation of ‘mud cakes’ drilling fluid stabilizes the well’s wall. It is particularly

significant when engineers encounter loose geological formations. To describe behavior of mud, drilling fluid engineers use rheological models, in other words, mathematical description of the viscous forces that create the part of frictional losses. Depending on main liquid that states base for drilling mud preparation we can divide drilling fluids on Water-Based drilling fluids (brines and bentonite dispergated systems), Drill-In fluids, Emulsion drilling fluids called also as Oil-Based drilling fluids and Pneumatic fluids which fall into one of three categories: air or gas only, aerated fluid or foam. Recently, we have had the chance to observe the growing role of Synthetic-based fluids that were developed out of an increasing desire to reduce the environmental impact of offshore drilling operations. The separation of solid phase from drilling mud is possible thanks to physical (for example, the usage of shale shakers or centrifugal separators) and chemical (for example, flocculation) methods. What is happening next? All of the solid drilling wastes are transported outside of the oil well area and consolidated or recycled. According to many functions and the significant role of the mud, it’s worth to say that without this fluid, almost every operation would not be possible.


AUTUMN / 2012




SUMMER / 2013



Call for Papers YoungPetro is waiting for your paper! The topics of the papers should refer to: Drilling Engineering, Reservoir Engineering, Fuels and Energy, Geology and Geophysics, Environmental Protection, Management and Economics Papers should be sent to papers @ For more information visit

autumn / 2013

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YoungPetro - 9th Issue - Autumn 2013  

9th Issue of YoungPetro Magazine