As fossil fuels deplete and oil and gas companies have to dig deeper and in more extreme environments, the need for advance materials with new capabilities is required. Nanomaterials are beginning to meet this need.
Nanotech in Oil and Gas
The demand for fossil fuels will increase greatly over the next few decades. However the days of finding “easy oil” are more or less at an end and therefore enhanced reservoir extraction techniques are required. Exploration for oil increasingly needs to focus on hydrocarbon prone sedimentary basins that are much deeper, and more difficult to access. Therefore new technologies are required that can cope with there environments. Nanoscience can also provide solutions for the extreme conditions of the harsh down hole environment (including high pressure, high heat properties up to 300C, 20,000 psi), and can protect equipment and prevent corrosion or fire.
The oil and gas industry has adopted nanostructured coatings for anti-corrosion applications. A major problem in the Oil Country Tubular Goods market (OCTG) is the degradation of down hole pipes and tubes, surface piping, pressure vessels, storage tanks and other equipment due to corrosion, abrasion and other factors. Long-lasting coatings are needed to protect under sea pipes from seawater. Coatings currently used on rigs and other platforms to prevent rust and corrosion can cause safety issues and environmental issues.
Nanotech in Oil and Gas applications
Applications covered includes:
- Sensing and reservoir management
Coatings and pipelines