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

 

Drones: First Certificate Issued Under New UAV Rules

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say the first certified flight of an unmanned helicopter under new aviation rules is a great example of how they can enable commercial use. More>>

ALSO:

GE Swedes And Cow Deaths: Plant Analysis Backs Up Earlier Advice

The industry body is recommending that farmers do not feed Herbicide Tolerant (HT) swedes to cows in spring when the animals are in late pregnancy or early lactation. DairyNZ is also advising caution if farmers are considering other leafy varieties. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Dairy And Travel Still Our Largest Export Earners

New Zealand earned $2.3 billion more from exports than we spent on imports during the year ended June 2015... total exports of goods and services were $67.5 billion, while total imports were $65.1 billion. More>>

ALSO:

Approval: Air New Zealand And Air China Launch New Alliance Route

Air New Zealand and Air China have today launched joint sales for a new daily direct service between Auckland and Beijing after receiving approval from New Zealand Minister of Transport Hon Simon Bridges to form a strategic alliance. More>>

ALSO:

Money Trading: FX Trader Jin Yuan Finance Warned Over Lack Of Monitoring

Jin Yuan Finance, an Auckland-based foreign exchange trader, has been warned over its lack of anti-money laundering processes in place in the first public notification by the Department of Internal Affairs. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Surge, Possible Peak: House Values Accelerate At Fastest Annual Pace In 8 Years

New Zealand residential property values rose at their fastest annual pace in eight years in August, pushed higher by overflowing demand in Auckland, which is showing signs speculators think it has reached its peak, according to Quotable Value. More>>

ALSO:

Cash Money: Reserve Bank Launches New $5 And $10 Banknotes

The $5 and $10 final banknotes were revealed at an event at the Bank in Wellington, and will start to be released from mid-October 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Truck Sales Booted: Commerce Commission Files Charges Against Mobile Trader

The Commerce Commission has filed charges against a mobile trader, or truck shop operator, claiming he obtained money from customers by deception and never intended to supply them with the goods they paid for. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news