Rapid and Cost Efficient EOR Screening using a
Rock-on-a-Chip Approach

Our Rock-on-a-Chip Microfluidic technology opens a new era of designing and optimising IOR/EOR oilfield applications and of screening EOR processes with various chemicals.

This pioneering technology captures images from the interactions between chemicals and hydrocarbons during flooding processes. The results provide a deeper understanding of EOR processes and chemicals, and a more informed EOR field application planning.

Our InspIOR turnkey microfluidic flooding systems allow fast and cost effective EOR process optimisation and EOR fluids screening capabilities. InspIOR, HOT’s flagship microfluidic flooding device, provides a professional experimental setup for IOR (brine, low salinity), chemical EOR (polymer, surfactant, alkaline, SP, AP, ASP, nanoparticles, etc.), microbial EOR and gas injection (foam, etc.) processes.

Closeupf of a Microfluidics chip

We offer:

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Rapid dynamic screening of IOR/EOR chemicals and EOR process optimisation

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Turnkey microfluidic EOR solutions
(services, hardware, software)

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InspIOR, our flagship Microfluidics EOR Flooding System

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Bespoke transparent rock-on-chip micromodels
(chip design, customisation, fabrication)

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Fast results at lower cost

Microfluidics Chip: Illustration of layers

InspIOR – A Turnkey Microfluidic Flooding System

InspIOR is a professional microfluidics platform for the visualisation of fluid flow in porous systems.

Our benchtop InspIOR system is the most recent and superior generation of the InspIOR family for experiments under reservoir conditions. Software control (InspIOR Vision) enables automated operations, real-time visualisation, data acquisition and reporting. Advanced image analysis capabilities (InspIOR Vision Pro) allow for detailed interpretation of experiments.

InspIOR - HOT's turnkey microfluidic flooding system

Our Technology: Your Window into Your Reservoir

Chemical EOR processes are usually optimised by phase behaviour and core flood experiments. However, phase behaviour is typically measured in test tubes and not under more realistic flow conditions in porous media. And core floods, despite being complex and time consuming, give only limited insight to oil mobilisation and displacement.

Our microfluidics technology is different, as it allows visual access to the porous system: we see the complex fluid-fluid interactions, oil mobilisation and displacement mechanisms happening. This in-depth information and knowledge gained allows us to better understand the many mechanisms of oil recovery and to support our customers in their decision-making process.

Our Micromodels are based on reservoir rock images, are transparent, allow for complex pore geometries, small pore throats and wettability control. This technology provides oil & gas operators and chemical companies the tool to systematically evaluate fluid systems in porous media, to screen and optimise EOR chemicals before embarking on core floods.

Our rock-on-a-chip microfluidic technology provides oil & gas operators and chemical companies the tool to systematically evaluate fluid systems in porous media, to screen and optimise EOR chemicals before embarking on core floods and EOR field applications.

Applications include, but are not limited to, the evaluation of brine, water, polymer, surfactant and alkaline EOR applications, gas injection and foam EOR processes.

HOT’s Microfluidics in a Nutshell

 

  • Rapid and cost efficient IOR and EOR displacement process screening
  • Stunning visualisation of the flow process through porous media
  • Pioneering transparent micromodels (Glass-Silicon-Glass)
  • No physical core material and only small fluid volumes required
  • Customised chips based on reservoir rock images
  • Wettability control using nanotechnology
  • Reduced risk and improved success rate for IOR/EOR field applications
Dr Wegner presenting the Rock-on-a-Chip approach

Applications

WATER FLOODING

Micromodels visualise water injection through porous media. The oil phase (green) is being displaced by brine (blue) which is injected at the left part of the chip.

Visualisation of water injection experiment using microfluidic chip designed for formation X.

MOBILITY CONTROL (POLYMERS)

Micromodels are used to evaluate mobility control related EOR/IOR processes such as polymer flooding. The process can be visualized and images are taken at high resolution.

STREAMLINES & PARTICLE TRACING

Some polymers used for EOR exhibit viscoelastic turbulence. Micromodels allow investigating turbulence effects for critical parameters such as brine salinity, polymer concentration, pressure and temperature.

Comparison of streamlines of non-viscoelastic benchmark fluid and viscoelastic polymer (showing viscoelastic turbulence(s))
Comparison of streamlines of non-viscoelastic benchmark fluid and viscoelastic polymer
(showing viscoelastic turbulence(s))

LOW INTERFACIAL TENSION (SURFACTANTS, ALKALINES)

Injection of surfactants can trigger “miscibility” between oil and aqueous phases and facilitates the formation of emulsions of different types. This leads to an improved oil displacement efficiency. A large number of chemicals needs to be tested to identify the optimum chemical formula for a specific reservoir. In addition to phase behaviour tests and core floods, microfluidics are a valuable complementary screening tool saving time and cost.

MICROBIAL

Micromodels give insight to microbial EOR (mEOR) processes, from the visualisation of the gas produced by bacteria to bacteria growth.

GAS INJECTION

Immiscible gas injection leads to strong viscous fingering effects, resulting in low oil recovery.

Injection of immiscible gas leads to low oil recovery due to viscous fingering.
Injection of immiscible gas leads to low oil recovery due to viscous fingering.

FOAM

Foam is typically applied to enhance gas floods. Micromodels allow characterizing of foam related EOR processes (bubble sizes, count, lamella distribution, foam quality (liquid saturation) and stability, etc.) at reservoir conditions.

The Way to Your Rock on a Chip

We customise the porous structures used for the Micromodel experiments using different sources, including thin section images, μCT images or grain-size distributions to ensure your chips reflect the porosity and permeability of your reservoir.

HOT Engineering GmbH   Tel: +43 3842 43 0 53-0   Fax +43 3842 43 0 53-1   hot@hoteng.com