Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Victoria research could aid oil search

MEDIA RELEASE

14 November 2006


Victoria research could aid oil search

Researchers at Victoria University have been able to track for the first time the speed with which liquids move between different pores in rocks that hold hydrocarbons.

While geologists have been using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for more than a decade to probe the nuclei of atoms to learn about the porous structure of rocks that hold oil and other hydrocarbons, Professor Paul Callaghan and postgraduate student Kate Washburn have shown how the technique could be extended to track the movement of liquid between different pores.

Their research was published in the latest edition of the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters.

Professor Callaghan, who is the Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, said the method had many potential uses.

“Not only could it could assist production companies in more efficiently extracting oil from the ground, but it could also allow researchers to monitor the motion of molecules between different microscopic regions in liquid crystals or biological cells.”

NMR techniques involve placing a sample into a magnetic field, causing the atoms in it to resonate at a particular frequency. By directing a radio wave into the atom, the wave that comes back can tell scientists a lot about the sample. NMR works particularly well with compounds that contain hydrogen atoms such as water.

To understand the structure of a rock using NMR, researchers expose a porous rock such as sandstone to a strong magnetic field, causing the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms in the water to line up like tiny magnets. When a different magnetic field is briefly added, the nuclei begin to ‘wobble’ in synch and monitoring how long it takes for the wobbling to start can tell researchers the size of the pores in the rock. When the molecules are in a small pore, they collide with the walls more quickly and start wobbling sooner than those in a large pore.

Professor Callaghan says knowing the range of pore sizes doesn’t tell the researchers how well connected the pores are.

“To find that out, we need to repeat this test over time and look for changes. Using complex computational techniques, we’ve been able to work out how quickly the liquid moves between pores. In the oil industry, this is crucial information as it indicates how easily trapped oil will be able move through the rock and out of the well.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news