Micro Sensor Motes Successfully Travel Through a Canadian Heavy Oil Reservoir

Micro Sensor Motes Successfully Travel Through a Canadian Heavy Oil Reservoir

  PR Newswire

  REGINA, Saskatchewan, November 30, 2012

REGINA, Saskatchewan, November 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

What was once believed impossible became a reality on November 16 ^th : micro
sensor motes were successfully sent into a Canadian heavy oil reservoir
through an injection well and retrieved via a production well.

This exciting result is from a field trial conducted by the PI Innovation
Centre - a joint venture of the Canadian Petroleum Technology Research Centre
(PTRC) and its Dutch-based partner INCAS ^3 - in collaboration with Canadian
Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), which provided field access.

Heavy oil recovery challenges Using existing recovery methods such as CHOPS
(Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand), heavy oil reservoirs in Canada see only
a five-to-eight percent recovery rate. In CHOPS, a sand and oil mixture is
extracted; the produced sand leads to the creation of empty spaces or
'wormholes' in the reservoir. These 'wormholes' form a potentially immense
network of channels preventing pressurization and, thus, influencing the
efficiency of oil production. If this network of wormholes exists, sensors
should provide information as to their number, diameter, direction and

Unprecedented success in field test Initial results indicate that between 10%
and 20% of injected sensor motes - those with a diameter of 7 mm or less -
successfully passed through the reservoir. John van Pol, Managing Director of
INCAS ^3 , is positive about the results.

"The fact that the sensor motes traveled through the reservoir is a promising
start for this innovative research."

Dr. Malcolm Wilson, CEO of the PTRC, also noted.

"With the kinds of recovery rates we experience in CHOPS production," said
Wilson, "to actually be able to see and better understand these wormholes will
enable us to develop improved recovery techniques."

The next step is to analyze the results. The PI Innovation Centre will set up
a research program before moving to the next phase of trials.

For a full press release visit

About the PI Innovation Centre, PTRC and INCAS ^3 Visit:
http://pi-innovation-centre.ca/ ; http://ptrc.ca/ ; and http://www.incas3.eu/

For further information: Contacts Norm Sacuta Communications Manager
PTRCRegina, SK Tel: +1-306-787-7497 Mobile: +1-306-502-2101
norm.sacuta@ptrc.ca Yvonne van den Berg  Communications Officer, INCAS ^3 
Tel: +31(0)592-860000
  Mobile: +31(0)6-2040-6692 yvonnevandenberg@incas3.eu
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