Cambridge Viscosity Blog

White Paper: Accurate Viscosity Measurement in Extreme Conditions

Mar 9, 2021 10:39:14 AM / by Patrick Riley

The need for accurate and reliable viscosity measurement in high pressures and temperatures spans many applications across multiple industries. Oil exploration, enhanced oil recovery, and bearing analysis are just a few.  Cambridge Viscosity has a long history of meeting these challenges. The key is in the SPL-440 sensor, which is the heart of the VISCOlab PVT. Our new white paper touches on why viscosity measurement is so important when it comes to oil extraction. 

Download the White Paper: Achieving Accurate Viscosity Measurement in Conditions of Extreme Pressure and Temperature

Here's an excerpt.

Extracting crude oil from the fluids underground is a complicated task. Oil companies must have a solid understanding of the fluid’s characteristics in order to make informed decisions. The ability to measure the viscosity under reservoir conditions helps them assess the quality of the oil, as well as the best extraction, production, and processing methods of these heavy fluids. The potential for variability in oil is high, and oil companies must understand fluid mobility and changes to mobility under changing pressures and temperatures. 

When pressure falls, gas condensate liquid dropout can occur in gas reservoirs, which can affect well production. Oil and gas companies need to understand the point of dropout, but extracting a sample is extremely difficult. Samples must be pulled from rock deep below ground, which is an expensive endeavor, and one that often yields a limited sample volume. The challenge of sample collection makes it hard to obtain viscosity data. Understanding viscosity as a fluid property is required in reservoir simulation and engineering calculations. Errors in reservoir fluid viscosity result in errors in cumulative production.  That means a negative impact on profit.

To accurately simulate downhole conditions in an oil reservoir, oil companies require accurate viscosity measurement under extreme pressure and temperature conditions.

In the past, when there was a need to measure viscosity at extremely high pressures and temperatures, solutions were limited. It wasn’t uncommon to run into homegrown, proprietary measuring systems that tended to be massive, and understood and operated by only the small number of experts who actually built the machine. If they left the company, no one would be left who could operate and maintain the system. 

It was this type of scenario that led Cambridge Viscosity to develop the VISCOlab PVT™. A company who performed analysis on petroleum hydrocarbon fluids wanted to analyze live oil samples. They wanted to use small sample volumes and achieve extremely accurate measurements without using mercury. And the viscometer had to be able to handle very high pressures, and both high and low temperatures. 

Fill out the form above to read the entire white paper. 

If you have any questions or want to reach out to us directly, please fill out this form. 

Have a Question or Comment? Send us a Message. 

Tags: PVT, viscosity control, Exploration, high pressure viscometer, EOR

Patrick Riley

Written by Patrick Riley

Vice President of Process Analytics

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