Cambridge Viscosity Blog

Viscometers Provide High Temp Viscosity Analysis: Heavy Oil Research

Sep 26, 2018 12:00:00 PM / by Admin


Boston, MA - Cambridge Viscosity recently delivered a customized ViscoLab PVT High Temperature viscometer for analyzing heavy oil samples to a second major European oil company. The international energy company has decades of experience in oil and gas extraction in the North Sea and in countries around the world. The research and development team purchased the high temperature viscometer to explore extraction methods for heavy oils in tar sands located near Calgary in Alberta, Canada. The company is currently using the steam-assisted gravity drainage method (SAGD) to remove heavy viscous bitumen from oil sands. The viscometer will be used to improve the current method and develop new techniques for locations where the environment and geography make standard approaches impractical.

Developing the high temperature version of the ViscoLab PVT presented many unique challenges for Cambridge Viscosity engineers. The customer required that the viscometer operate at temperatures up to 300°C and pressures of 20,000PSI. These requirements necessitated a redesign of the SPL-440 sensor's internal electrical components, inlet and outlet tubes and the viscometer's isothermal control system. Dan Airey, director of engineering who oversaw the system redesign, addressed the challenges. "We had a number of problems to work out in order to deliver a system that could produce accurate and repeatable data under extreme conditions. The pressure and temperature combination required new components from the latest ceramics technology to advanced metal alloys. It was a significant effort, but I am very proud of the new design and the results the system provides."

Cambridge added a modified high temperature PVT design to its product catalog a few years ago, having many successful implementations in extreme environments.  Click here for more information on the high pressure and high temperature options.

Cambridge Viscosity, a leader in advanced laboratory and production viscometer systems, provides automated viscometers used worldwide by pharmaceutical and medical device companies to optimize their product and process performance. Cambridge's global reach is important for providing application engineering support and service wherever and whenever needed.

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Contact Cambridge Viscosity at 781-393-6500 or email us at For more information, visit our website:




Tags: PVT, high temperature viscometer, Exploration


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