Linde and NCA develop enhanced oil recovery technique using CO2 and nitrogen

Linde North America, Inc. and Nissan Chemical America Corporation (NCA) have partnered to advance their nanoActiv HRT (Hydrocarbon Recovery Technology) combined with carbon dioxide or nitrogen to enhance downhole performance.

nanoActiv HRT enables the recovery of hydrocarbons primarily through the processes of Brownian motion, diffusion-driven disjoining pressure and fragmentation—all combined in one mechanical sweeping effort, the companies said in a press release.

The use of CO2 or N2 in hydraulic fracturing allows for maximum surface area to increase the flow of hydrocarbons and delivers flexibility in solution viscosity for more uniform proppant placement, avoiding blockages and keeping fractures open.

"Initial results from field applications show nanoActiv HRT particles with CO2 or N2 produces significantly improved hydrocarbon recovery. We look forward to further this collaboration to optimize this approach," said Robin Watts, Chemistry & Energy program manager, Linde North America.

The German industrial gases group Linde is in the midst of a $74 billion combination with U.S. peer Praxair. It is the largest supplier of CO2 in the U.S. and supplies N2 through an extensive network of air separation plants. Japan-based NCA manufactures products for the chemical, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries and is a market leader in the production of nanomaterials for a number of industries.

"The combination of Nissan Chemical's technological strength in nanoparticles and Linde's expertise in oil and gas and global reach is a game changer for the marketplace," Will Smith, senior vice-president, NCA, said in a statement.

"This technology enables the recovery technology to be completed faster, more completely and with longer efficacy than any fluid technology in the market today,” added 40-year oil and gas industry veteran David L Holcomb, PhD, president, Pentagon Technical Services Inc. and consultant with NCA. "With the additional use of CO2 or N2 with nanoActiv HRT as a treatment, we can see the sustained improvement in recovery."