Materials & Nanoscience

Current and Future Applications of Nanotechnology in the Oil Industry (#197)

The oil industry needs robust materials suited for use in harsh environmental conditions. The application of nanotechnology in the oil and gas industry is just emerging, and some research shows the potential of nanotechnology to solve or manage some challenging issues in the petroleum industry. In enhanced oil recovery (EOR), nanomaterials could alter certain factors in formulation of smart fluids and in oil properties to limit water production with the oil and reduce drag and friction forces during drilling. For reservoir characterization, oil industry still relies on downhole electrical and electromagnetic imaging methods to improve the understanding of a reservoir, but conventional electrical sensors and other measuring tools may fail or be unreliable in high temperatures, high pressures and corrosive conditions; nanotechnology could provide new tiny metering solutions to address wellbore and reservoir sensing requirements in-situ. Although a lot of discussions are taking place, little substantial research on these topics is currently being undertaken by the petroleum industry worldwide. The general aim of this symposium is to bridge researchers from the oil industry and academic communities together to discuss current and future applications of nanotechnology in the oil industry. Topics in the symposium will cover, but not be limited to, the fabrication and functionalization of novel nanomaterials, stabilization of nanomaterials in harsh conditions, nano-agents for imaging and in-situ sensing, smart nano-fluids for EOR, membranes for separation, and the understanding of interactions between nanomaterials and minerals.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015