OREANDA-NEWS. September 28, 2012. Intevep, the technological and research center of state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), is currently working on 200 applications for the development of the oil industry, many of which are aimed at facilitating the exploitation of existing reserves in the Orinoco Oil Belt (FPO), said Janeth Lopez, Technological Portfolio Manager at Intevep, during her presentation in the Fifth World Heavy Oil Congress, which was held this week in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Lopez highlighted that in the old PDVSA, researches made by Intevep did not respond to the needs of the oil industry and were not applied to production processes. “Our guidelines are currently aligned to the Oil Sowing Plan, which guides us to produce technology in order to increase the recovery factor, boost production and upgrade heavy oil, because our resource base has this feature”.

The Intevep manager said that PDVSA seeks to achieve technological sovereignty. Therefore, the operational areas are instructed to give priority to technological alternatives developed by Intevep. Thanks to this strategy, 35 Intevep’s patented products have been placed and applied. These products were developed on the premise of protecting the environment, ensuring process safety, and preserving the health of workers and towns near operational areas.

Proprietary technology to increase production

Deivi Oliveros, BSc in Chemistry and member of Intevep’s Orinoco Oil Belt and Strategic Research Department, presented a paper at the Congress held in Aberdeen. The paper was related to an on-site combustion technique with the addition of chemical products (catalytic emulsions), which has demonstrated its efficiency to increase the recovery factor from 20 to 40 percent in laboratory experiments.

He clarified that in this case liquid catalysts are used rather than solid catalysts which are applied in other technologies, since liquid products can be easily injected into the reservoirs. This technology saves costs and provides a greater enhancement, up to 16°API.

On the other hand, Javier Ibarra, a petroleum engineer at Intevep’s Integrated Production Management, presented a paper to improve the characterization software of electric submersible pumps. In his presentation, Ibarra said that the pump characterization was necessary, because it is an alternative method for an artificial lift of heavy oils, using measurements in viscous and multiphase environments (which combine crude and gas). The temperature variable must be added, since as it has been tested in laboratories, it changes throughout the process.

Ibarra said that PDVSA’s Intevep is developing a software called “Guru” to characterize this type of pumps. The software is already available in operational areas.