NEW OIL-MINING TECHNOLOGIES
 
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Russia is one of the world's major producers of energy resources. Fully satisfying its domestic needs, our country is among the chief exporters of hydrocarbon fuels. In 2000 we produced 323 million tons of oil, which was a gain of 18 million tons over the previous year. Large investments totaling $6 billion have made it possible to reactivate 9,600 idle wells, which have already yielded over 12 million tons of crude, and to commission 3,300 new oil wells which have produced another 11 million tons of precious fuel. But our country, too, has to cope with the problem of residual pools. Mining oil from such pools is a laborious process because a significant part of them is located in flooded deposits and in low-permeability beds. Therefore nonconventional methods of extraction become necessary-namely, physicochemical, thermal and gas techniques, whereby another 42 million tons of crude was recovered in 2000. An innovative and efficient technique of recovery has been suggested by the Institute of Petroleum Chemistry (Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences). It applies above all to low-permeability and heterogeneous deposits at the final stage of development, and to deposits in high-viscosity beds; in such cases hydrocarbons are treated with special jelly-like composites (trademarks UXH-1, UKHKA - in Cyrillic) increasing the recovery of oil wells. It goes without saying that chemical reagents used for this purpose should be ecologically safe and cause no irreversible changes of the environmental situation in oil-mining areas; and last but not least, such reagents should be low- cost. It is very important to prospect for raw material sources of these reagents. Good headway toward this end is reported from two academic research centers - the Siberian Institutes of Petroleum Chemistry and of Solid Body and Mechanical Chemistry (RAS Siberian Branch)-that joined hands in this endeavor. Soluble products can be obtained from plant raws (cellulose and rice shucks) ... Читать далее
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