Reservoir characterization

Unconventional Use of Tracer Technology Provides Flow Insights for EOR, IOR

This paper sheds light on newer frontiers of tracer applications with unconventional uses to gain flow insights from an oil and gas reservoir.

Steps showing synthesis of bead-frac tracers through microencapsulation, cryogenesis, and meshing.
Fig. 1—Steps showing synthesis of bead-frac tracers through microencapsulation, cryogenesis, and meshing.
SPE 207431.

In recent decades, tracers have provided crucial insight into fluid-flow behavior in assessing reservoir connectivity. While advancements in versatility of tracer molecules have been published before in the literature, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no work has been published to date that discusses the latest advances in unconventional uses of tracer molecules aiding enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and improved oil recovery (IOR) processes. This work is meant to address that gap by exploring four unconventional uses of tracers that hold significant potential.

Microencapsulation of Solid Tracers: Enhancing Intelligent Tracers

Previous research specified that factors affecting the current technology of solid tracers include physical space restrictions, temperature, tracer-loading capacity, initial surge, release of the tracer into fluid, and target-tracer concentrations.

While the first two factors often are dictated by project conditions, advances in the other factors have been largely attributed to the tracer-polymer composition. For the tracers to be released in a controlled manner across a designated period, polymer structure plays a pivotal role in achieving longevity.

The complete paper discusses a technique that is an application revolving around microencapsulation of chemical tracers in a solid shell before the addition of polymer material.

Encapsulation vs.

Continue Reading with SPE Membership
SPE Members: Please sign in at the top of the page for access to this member-exclusive content. If you are not a member and you find JPT content valuable, we encourage you to become a part of the SPE member community to gain full access.