Oil extraction and ultrasound waves- The future of oil extraction.
Oil extraction is a complicated process, with only 40% of the primary and secondary oil actually being extracted. New techniques in oil extraction look to allow oil wells to produce more, better quality oil, whilst avoiding geological and physical factors that often make extraction of over 40% of oil impossible.
Researchers are now looking at the possibility of sound waves being used in the process of extraction. This ‘wave stimulation’ of oil is being looked at to firstly improve both oil recovery, and to help identify what is needed to harness this technology.
A theoretical report dating back to 2014 shows the promise of ultrasound waves as a way to improve extraction as it was demonstrated in a controlled experiment that oil separation increases, and this technique helps to increase rock permeability (or the ease in which oil gets through rock).
There is already patented technology out there to produce seismic waves, but due to the complexity of oil drilling, i.e. differing water saturations in wells etc. having various techniques at the ready will mean oil extraction efficiency will only increase in the coming years.