The underlying principle of the thermo-chemical binary mixtures (“BM”) of Viscos Energy is to lower the viscosity of the oil in place through heat generation and to have the resulting gases act a as a solvent to sweep out the remaining oil in place.
The BM heats the formation to temperatures between 250°C and 500°C. Contrary to other technologies, the heat is generated directly in the formation – either around the well or deep in the formation. This is achieved by pumping the main chemicals together with additives into the payzone through two separate tubes. The reaction starts deep in the well, heating the productive layer, producing pressure strong enough to create fractures, which are immediately filled by the incoming reagents, and in the process heating up the formation. The treatment is environmentally friendly. The chemical reactions produce significant heat and non-toxic gases (i.e., N2, NO2, CO2, H2) and little H2O, which is depending on the pressure in gas or liquid form. Initiators and catalysts will be added to the fluids to control the temperature and speed of reaction.
A side effect from the high temperatures created around the well bore is that the well is cleaned from paraffin and other residues. Compared to a traditional acid treatment, the BM process heats up larger parts of the formation and hence cleans a wide area.
As the energy losses of the process are minimal, there is no limit on depth of formations. For good effects, the formation shall however be deeper than 350m / 1000 ft, so that gas pressure can be created in the formation.
The temperature created can be tightly controlled, this, in combination with the pressure created, can create critical conditions (i.e., water heated above 374°C), at which point water and oil become mutual solvents and the viscosity is lowered by a factor of up to 10 times. The actual change in viscosity depends on the well and formation specifications.
The above process works in nearly all oil formations, whereby the economics are determined mostly by the oil / water mix in the payzone and depth of the formation.
The upfront investments for a field treatment are significantly lower than with competing technologies, as no infrastructure investments (e.g., steam generators, CO2 pipelines, etc.) are required.