Navigation Links
New Danish research shows how oil gets stuck underground
Date:5/11/2009

Now, new Danish research may have come up with an explanation as to where and how North Sea oil clings to underground rocks. This explanation could turn out to be the first step on the way to developing improved oil production techniques with the intent of increasing oil production from Danish oil fields.

A research group at the Nano-Science Center, part of the Institute of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen has investigated drill cores collected from North Sea oil fields using an atomic force microscope. Their investigations show that the spaces which contain oil have totally different surface qualities than expected from our knowledge of the minerals which make up the rock. The rocks which contain oil in the Danish part of the North Sea are primarily chalk the same type of rock that the cliffs of Stevns and Mns in Denmark are made of. Assistant Professor Tue Hassenkam lead the research, whose preliminary results were published in the respected scientific publication PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) this week. He says that this is the first time that investigations of this type have been carried out on chalk from an oil field in the North Sea.

"Previous investigations were carried out on the surface properties of pure mineral crystals. But our investigation has shown that this chalk has a different and more complex structure" says Tue Hassenkam.

The oil bearing layers in the subsurface are reminiscent of a sponge. The oil "hides" in tiny pores and gaps and only some of the oil can be pressed out of the chalk and into the borehole by injecting water into the chalk layer. The rest is left behind as small droplets of oil surrounded by water either in small gaps in the rock or stuck to the walls of the pores. The chalk particles ought to repel oil if they act like particles of the mineral calcite, which chalk is almost 100% made up of. However the new investigations, carried out with a particularly powerful microscope, have shown that the surfaces of the pores in the chalk are partially covered in a material which oil can stick to. Ass. Prof. Hassenkam believes that the surprising behaviour of the material in the surface of the chalk can be explained by studying how the chalk was formed.

"Chalk is actually the casings of ancient algae. The algae gave their cases a type of "surface coating" to make them resistant to water. And it is probably this surface coating that we can see in action here, even 60 million years later" according to Ass. Prof. Hassenkam.

If we can manage to squeeze even a few percent more oil out of the seabed under the North Sea it could be worth millions of kroner for Denmark. Therefore Mrsk Oil and Gas AS on behalf of DUC (Dansk Un-dergrunds Consortium) along with Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation are supporting a project being carried out by Professor Susan Stipps' research group the Nano-Chalk Venture, which has been ongoing for the last two years. Tue Hassenkam originally became interested in chalk because he found the algae casings so beautiful. Today, after a year's work in front of a microscope, he is glad that his work also has a practical application. An understanding of how the oil clings to the chalk can possibly help develop a method to release it. And that will be the second part of the Nano-Chalk Venture.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tue Hassenkam
tue@nano.ku.dk
452-655-2030
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Danish Hotspot in Personalized Medicine
2. Ernst & Young Benchmarks Danish Biotech Pipeline Third in Europe
3. Research Triangle Area Health Care Collaborative Launches Bridges to Excellence(R) Initiative to Improve Quality and Lower Costs
4. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Proteolix Initiate Phase 2 Clinical Trial Investigating Carfilzomib for the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma
5. BioMarin Licenses Technology From Leading Cystic Fibrosis Research Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco
6. IDM Pharma Names Dr. Jeffrey W. Sherman Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development
7. Dawson James Securities Initiates Research Coverage on CryoCor, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRYO) with a Strong Buy Rating and $6.00 Target Price
8. eResearchTechnology to Present at the Thomas Weisel Healthcare Conference 2007 on September 5th
9. The Debiopharm Life Sciences Award Goes to Dr Nusser for his Outstanding Research in Neuroscience
10. Study Published in Clinical Cancer Research Confirms Potential Of Peregrines Bavituximab Combined With Radiation In Lung Cancer
11. Dow AgroSciences and Exelixis Plant Sciences Announce Major Research Collaboration, Asset Purchase to Advance Gene Discovery and Validation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, ... Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 ... presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the ... shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help ... obstacle for many early stage organizations - access to ... sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. The global biomarkers ... in 2013. The market is expected to grow at a five-year ... increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in 2020. ... period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new products approved ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... June 2, 2016 Perimeter Surveillance ... Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is ... partnership with VoicePass. By working together, ... experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different ... engines increases both security and usability. ... excitement about this new partnership. "This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):