Smart systems to improve efficiency for extraction of crude oil
Platform to simulate the conditions of the oilfield and help to determine the most appropriate extraction techniques
Lines of specialisation
Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies
Currently, in order to carry out similar tests, fragments of rock directly extracted during the perforation of the oil well are used. However, these stone samples are expensive, their transport is delicate and in some countries their use is prohibited. Also, the tests on real rocks do not allow observation of the movement of the different fluids inside.
IK4-Ikerlan has collaborated with Repsol on the development of a smart system that will allow Repsol to increase its efficiency for the extraction of crude oil, which will provide significant economic rewards. It is a simulation platform that is capable of reproducing the conditions of the subsoil where the oil is trapped. The device enables observation of the movement of the fluid and is also connected to a measurement equipment that offers useful data in order to understand the physical-chemical phenomena that explain the behaviour of the oil in the rock.
This simulation platform is already in operation in the company's facilities. Although core-flooding tests are routinely carried out on small samples of real rock, with this equipment the company avails of a tool that, for the first time, enables direct observation of the oil behaviour in the different extraction processes, with the optimisation possibilities that this implies.
This is a very important technological development; there are some mathematical models that aim to determine the behaviour of crude oil and water simultaneously at pore level, but it is difficult to tell how reliable these physical models are. This equipment allows us to reproduce and view what is happening inside the rock in a controlled manner