New oil extraction methods such as swept acoustic wave promise to increase yield

Typically, companies only manage to extract a third of the oil from a given field using current technologies. A promising new extraction method, developed by veteran Russian engineer Alex Barak and his engineer associates, at Galex Energy Corporation, could dramatically improve yield — although not without some environmental risks.

Engineered Design Insider Oil extraction drawingOil Gas Automotive Aerospace Industry MagazineThey are working on various methods, but the most promising is an innovation that “uses acoustic waves that are swept,” according to a report by Chris Baraniuk of the BBC.[1]  Basically, acoustic waves are vibrated or transmitted into the rock surrounding an oil well so that oil trapped in the rock is forced out. The acoustics actually create small fractures in the rock.

“The liquid bursts into vapour within the pore,” according to the report. Then, the area is exposed to low and high pressure in cycles, which pushes the oil to flow into the well where they can be drawn out. They will be testing 25 wells this year.

Not referenced in the BBC story, there appears to be a patent on this technology — or something similar. One patent abstract is called “Sonic Enhanced Oil Recovery System and Method. (US 20120061077 A1)” [2] which is summarized in the abstract as:

“To increase oil recovery from an oil reservoir, an acoustic transmitter is disposed in a source well and an acoustic receiver is disposed in a producing well. A portion of the oil reservoir is disposed between the source well and the producing well. An acoustic signal is transmitted from the acoustic transmitter at frequencies of 30 Hz and greater. The transmitted acoustic signal is received by the acoustic receiver and a resonant frequency of the portion of the oil reservoir is determined based on attenuation of the transmitted signal. The acoustic signal is transmitted from the acoustic transmitter at the determined resonant frequency to reduce a boundary layer effect between oil in the oil reservoir and a surface of a substrate in the oil reservoir and between the oil and a brine interface in the oil reservoir.”

Engineered Design Insider Oil extraction operationOil Gas Automotive Aerospace Industry Magazine

Environmental and human risks

The risks are “the unauthorized and incompetent use of [the] technology swept can cause damage to the subsoil environment, property and threat the life and staff,” as quoted in an earlier 2013 article written by Mr Barak and Mr Bazhal. That will not slow down development, although obviously risks will be assessed and managed.

Swept is only one of many methods being tested.

NOTE

[1] “Future energy: The technology allowing more oil extraction.” Chris Baraniuk, Technology Reporter, BBC.

[2] Patent “Sonic Enhanced Oil Recovery System and Method.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Exports, innovation key to small business success: CIBC
  • Latest Update on KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack): the flaw in WPA2 protocal for WIFI systems
  • CSeries on track for 300 orders: Bombardier
  • Space X's Falcon Heavy could explode with the force of a nuclear weapon; over 1400 airline flights delayed by space launches in 2018
  • 21 auto parts companies in Ontario invest in new technologies with help from Ontario Government
  • China Opens Solar Highway, Closes in Under a Week
  • Overheated bearings, gearboxes among causes of wind turbine fires
  • Breaking news: Kinder Morgan to cancel its Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline project
  • Time running out for dealing with global greenhouse emissions: report
  • Clean technologies for mining: Green Mining's time has come
  • Petronas to spend $16 billion to export Western Canadian LNG
  • Ontario missing out on $billions from federal government: study
  • Engineers Develop a Way to Recycle Single Wear PPE Facemasks into Road Materials
  • Researchers claim micro-fluidics breakthrough with liquid metal pump
  • Auto Sales Down Again for Big Car Makers
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada to invest $1 billion in engine development
  • California mandates energy storage to bring more renewables into grid
  • Propane suppliers condemn Ontario government's support of natural gas expansion
  • Gold miners expand production in Nunavut, estimated reserves in BC
  • Canada's prosperity at risk from disruption, lack of skilled workforce: reports
Scroll to Top