Introducing microscopic nano-robots
Resbots are nano-robots, which are close to 1/1000th the size of the human hair that can move through the reservoir.
Resbots are designed to be injected into the reservoir and, during their journey:
- Analyze reservoir pressure
- Provide temperature measurements
- Assess fluid type
Once they’re recovered at producing wells, the information stored in their onboard “memory” will be interrogated. This will tell us a great deal about the reservoir and provide highly effective mapping.
How Resbots work
This form of reservoir mapping will be more effective because we will be able to achieve direct contact with the reservoir. This is only possible because of the Resbots’ nanoscopic size.
- Reservoir rock holds tiny pores connected by channels called pore throats, which are even smaller than pores.
- To pass through pore throats, Resbots need to be on the order of 1/1000th the width of a human hair.
- Resbots begin their journey to discover the reservoir up close by being added to water injected into the reservoir.
- As they flow through the rock pore structure, Resbots will be able to investigate the environment and register fluid and rock properties.
- Researching two main types of Resbots
- Active Resbots will be able to sense the underground environment (temperature, pressure, pH and salinity).
- Reactive Resbots will be able to intervene to adjust unfavorable reservoir conditions by delivering chemicals, called surfactants, to allow easier flow of the reservoir fluid.
Resbots are ready for the field
In June 2010, we carried out the industry’s first field test of reservoir nano-agents. It successfully demonstrated that nano-agents can be injected into a reservoir, transported through the reservoir rock medium, and recovered back at the surface.