Analytical Instrumentation

High-pressure Foam Analysis Offers Targeted Enhancement of Foam-aided Methods for Oil Production

Jul 12 2017 Comments 0

KRÜSS GmbH’s new High Pressure Foam Analyser – HPFA is the world’s first measuring instrument for the simultaneous capture of foam height and structure under high pressure. The HPFA is intended primarily for the tertiary oil production sector, where foams boost the efficiency of flooding procedures using gases such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen. The foam improves flow control, so that the oil can be extracted efficiently from the rock. The foams used must remain stable for a long period under the high pressure of the reservoirs and also withstand strong deformations during flows through porous rock. So the structure of the foam lamellae and the decay dynamics at high pressure are extremely relevant for the efficiency of the process.

The HPFA is equipped with high-resolution cameras that capture the foam volume and a video image of the foam lamellae in parallel during and after foaming. With the aid of the ADVANCE software’s real-time image evaluation the instrument measures the foamability and foam decay as well as changes in the absolute bubble size and its statistical distribution. The HPFA’s measuring cell operates at pressures up to 350 bar and temperatures up to 120 °C. During the analysis sensors permanently transmit measured values for pressure and temperature to the software.

The repeatability of foam formation is ensured by a filter through which the gas flows into the liquid under pressure. Variable filters with different pore sizes simulate the characteristic porosity of the respective rock and enable the modelling of foams with different bubble sizes.

When using the foam in the recovery process the aqueous foam in the reservoir often comes up against the foam inhibiting oil. This can trigger undesired foam decay. To date it has not been possible to test this effect under reservoir conditions. To make this possible, the HPFA comes equipped with a novel dosing unit that enables the dosing of any kind of liquid under pressure during the ongoing foam analysis.

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