Biofibre viscosifiers for subsurface production

Tobias Platenburg, Michael Golombok (Corresponding author), Stuart Brown, Andrew Burns, John Burns

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A novel natural cellulose material (“biofibre”) suspension in water has potential both for enhanced oil recovery and proppant placement during fracturing in tight reservoirs. We analyse the different carrying mechanisms of biofibre against those of a cross-linked guar benchmark. Three viscosity determination methods have been applied that are relevant to the different applications. Non-Newtonian, shear-thinning effects with viscoelastic enhancement have been observed. These results are compared to the viscosity in a falling ball rheometer as well as in pressure-driven flow through capillaries and conduits. The results indicate that viscosity can be tuned to automatically adjust to the desired flow conditions in the reservoir to provide optimal behaviour for each application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-328
JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Fibre suspensions
  • Fractures
  • Reservoirs


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