‘Curing’ an oil well
“The trick is that water glass, also known as silicate glue made of very simple materials such as sand and soda is never resilient,” explains senior researcher at the department of materials science and technology of polymer systems recycling, candidate of technical Sciences Elena Kudina. “While freezing, it becomes brittle, which is unacceptable for a sealant. All attempts to add organic substances, which usually helps, proved unsuccessful. We, however, found a solution. Our liquid plugging compound, when pumped into a shelf, easily penetrates into rock breakings and under the influence of high temperatures, high water salinity and carbonate rocks transforms into rubber-like gel within a few hours. This material can be prepared right at the well site. To make it, it is enough to add water in water glass and put into a solution of modifying reagents.
As water glass is produced in – at a plant in Domanovo village in
In addition to increased petroleum extraction, the new product is also expected to make production more efficient. Until now Russian-produced Akor plugging materials have been used in the oil sector. They are fragile, not very safe and expensive. As this ‘therapeutic agent’ costs 900 to 1000 dollars per ton and 5 to 30 tons per well are needed, petroleum production is expensive. The Belarusian material is more efficient than the Russian and is expected to be 2–4 times as cheap. Also, it is more environmentally friendly.
By the way, the brand new Belarusian material is already used in Russia for monument restoration. Restorers from St. Petersburg report that the novelty can fix most severe defects not worse than expensive imported solutions.