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Enhanced Oil Recovery in Southeast Asia includes Vipel Technology

08 January 2013

One of Southeast Asia’s largest oil fields benefitted from the chemical resistance of Vipel® vinyl ester from AOC to improve oil recovery.

AOC explains that Vipel technology played a critical role in one step of enhanced recovery at the Minas Oil Field in Province Riau, Indonesia. This field has been serving the world’s energy needs since the middle of the 20th Century and still has significant oil reserves for owner Chevron Corporation. However, the oil in older wells is becoming more difficult to reach.

To increase production, Chevron turned to global engineering resource Technip to design a recovery system that uses cutting-edge technology. Technip provided engineering services, project management, and construction of an advanced system that maximizes oil recovery. The system injects a special, low-cost, “surfactant” fluid into designated wells. As fluid from the “injector” wells floods the underground reservoir, oil is pushed towards a “producer” well where pressure is increased to more easily extract the remaining oil.

A by-product of this “flooding” is a highly corrosive brine solution that is extracted along with the oil. Technip’s system separates and stores the brine in a special tank until it is ready for the next step in the process.

Because of the high heat and corrosive nature of the brine, AOC says it was necessary to construct the storage tank from a high-performance material. PT Graha Adhi Jaya Abadi FRP Engineering & Manufacturing, called GAJAFIBERGLASS, made the cylindrical vessel on-site using filament winding manufacturing. The operation required precise control of the resin temperature, prior to winding, to prevent ambient heat from initiating a resin cure.

The process started with the application of an anti-corrosion liner made up of a resin-saturated surfacing veil onto a horizontal, cylindrical mandrel. The liner was backed with a structural laminate of resin-impregnated continuous fiberglass that was applied as the mandrel rotated. The finished tank is 25 feet in diameter by 16 feet high (7.6 by 4.9 meters) and has a capacity of 1,400 barrels (167,000 liters).

Gunawan Karim of GAJAFIBERGLASS said an effective presentation by Jason Triggs, Technical Consultant for Nuplex Composites, and a professional and quick response from AOC Corrosion Resin Product Leader, Scott Lane, secured the resin specification for Vipel technology.

“We verified that Vipel F080 epoxy vinyl ester was suitable for containing brine solution at temperatures up to 210° Fahrenheit (99° Celsius), which is a critical requirement for the tank,” Karim said. “Additionally, delivery of the AOC resin was excellent because we benefited from the tracking and follow-up service of Lany Aldrich, AOC Sales Manager – Asia,” he added.





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