The last step in turning an oilfield into an oilrig is the ability to make a watertight oilrig. Water permeability may reach 70-98%, which leads to low recovery rates (anywhere between 30-40%). Therefore, water isolation in oil wells is crucial to a profitable oilrig.
Water inflow can also be a problem when recovering oil due to unexpected utilization of layers.
In case of waterproofing repairs, organic and inorganic reagents may be used. Some of the organic materials are cement and gypsum, and inorganic materials – polyacrylamide, carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxyethylcellulose, etc.
Studies have shown that the oil itself can be used as a waterproofing reagent; however, this method has a significant drawback because oil is not as durable and dissipates quickly.
Therefore, bitumen emulsion has been shown to work as a waterproofing material, in a disperse system consisting of water, bitumen and emulsifiers, which create a stable system over time. This approach, in comparison with the one previously mentioned has several advantages. First, the interaction between the rock surface and the emulsion breaks down and releases the bitumen, adsorbing it at the surface. Moreover, various materials obtain hydrophobic properties, i.e. become impervious to water. Second, when applied to a variety of surfaces, the emulsion penetrates the pores of the surfaces while creating a bond between the surface and the emulsion.
Therefore, the use of bitumen emulsions for waterproofing of oil wells should be considered as a good alternative. For the industrial production of bitumen emulsions using special model type UVB-1. UVB-1 is available with different specifications suitable for small and large projects regarding exploration and development of mineral deposits.