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Viscosity reduction agents, Flow improvers and DRA additives to optimization of production and transport of extra heavy and heavy oil.

One of the main challenges faced by the hydrocarbon industry is the viscosity of the crude oil, specifically in heavy and extra-heavy crudes, since it makes the tasks of extraction and transportation from the producing wells to the treatment plants very difficult.

SMART FLUID fluidifiers base their efficiency on the use of state-of-the-art surfactants which improve the rheological behavior of the crude without affecting its composition. The use of SMART FLUID fluidifiers facilitates the extraction and transportation activities of the crude oil, without interfering in an adverse way in the subsequent treatment processes that must be carried out, to guarantee the sales parameters.

In crudes with the presence of emulsified water, the SMART FLUID fluidifier additive seeks to generate a change in the behavior of the emulsion by setting the water dispersed on the outside of the emulsion and significantly reducing fluid friction in the flow lines.

In heavy crudes with low water content, fluidizers as viscosity reducing agents work through the dispersion of the components (organic material and pollutant) causing the high apparent viscosity, rearranging them in the mass of the crude and inhibiting their effect on viscosity.

SMART FLUID constantly develops fluidifiers and drag-reducing agents (DRA) for crudes with specific characteristics, based on the growing need for more versatile flow improvers that enhance the efficiency of production of viscous crudes in the hydrocarbon industry.

Its effect on the reduction of the apparent viscosity of the crude also generates positive results on the facilities of the treatment process installed in the field. 

It is important to be able to differentiate fluidifier additives from drag-reducing agents (DRA) and emulsion breaking additives:

  • In the case of drag-reducing agents (DRA), these modify the internal friction generated by the turbulent flow of crude oil in the collection lines and pipelines, making their application limited to systems that operate under turbulent flow conditions.
  • In the case of emulsion breakers or demulsifiers, which interfere in the water/crude interfacial film facilitating the coalescence of water droplets in the crude, they are generally used to break water-crude emulsions, but if they are properly applied, they will help to increase the water drop size in the internal phase, thus reducing the apparent viscosity of the emulsion.

Fluidifiers can be applied at different points in the production system and can be formulated in such a versatile approach according to the objectives of their application.

One of the most common applications performed by SMART FLUID and reported in the literature are downhole applications through capillary injection because the benefits are obtained immediately, such as:

  • Well production increments
  • Improved volumetric efficiency of artificial lift systems
  • Reduction of electric energy consumption
  • Reduction of system overpressures related to the flow of highly viscous fluids.



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  • Shuler, P. J., Tang, Y., & Tang, H. (2010, January 1). Heavy Oil Production Enhancement by Viscosity Reduction. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/132564-MS
  • Faust, M., & Weathers, T. (2011, January 1). Biphasic Viscosity Reducers as Production Aids for Viscous Oil. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/141037-MS
  • Ferreira, S. R., Oliveira, A. P., Pucciarelli, N., Tooge, C. A. B., & Souza, R. (2014, September 24). Green Products for Reducing the Viscosity of Heavy Oil. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/171082-MS
  • Ghloum, E., Rashed, A., Al-Jasmi, A., Al-Ali, A., Mali, P., & Sanyal, A. (2015, October 11). Selection of Suitable Viscosity Reducer to Facilitate Test Production of Heavy Oil and Deep Reservoir. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/175312-MS
  • Fakher, S., Imqam, A., & Wanas, E. (2018, December 10). Investigating the Viscosity Reduction of Ultra-Heavy Crude Oil Using Hydrocarbon Soluble Low Molecular Weight Compounds to Improve Oil Production and Transportation. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/193677-MS