Advanced development in upstream of petroleum industry using nanotechnology
2020, 28 (6):
Nowadays, energy supply is one of the most important issues due to limitation of oil, gas and coal sources. Because of rapid population, civilization and energy consumption growth, the improved technologies to make optimal use of the sources, solving related problems and finding new energy sources are important. More than 10 years ago, nanotechnology as one of the most important technologies has also been applied to progress in the oil and gas industry (upstream, midstream and downstream). The experience of these years has shown that application of nanotechnology in the oil industry improves the exploration of crude oil and natural gas (underground or deep water), drilling and bringing the crude oil or raw natural gas to the surface, as well as transportation, storage, processing and purifying methods. Nanoparticles with high specific surface area, pore volume and small size show unique physical and chemical properties, which could be applied in several applications. In this regard, many researchers have been focused on various nanoparticles for upstream industries and studied their potential in oil exploration, drilling, production and enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Also, in downstream and midstream which involve refining of crude oil, processing and purifying of raw natural gas, transportation and storage of crude or refined petroleum products, the nanomaterials have been used to improve the quality of oil and make it appropriate for the environment. Lowering sulfur gasoline, enhancing the octane number and coating the transportation system are among the goals that have been achieved successfully using nanotechnology. In this work, various types of nanoparticles such as metallic, metal oxide, hybrid nanoparticles, carbon nanomaterials, nano-composites and their applications in oil upstream industry are reviewed. Also, their usage in different types of oil upstream processes is discussed.