YPF has been granted a patent for a method of oil recovery involving applying an electrical signal to a reservoir to alter the water-oil interface, causing coalescence of oil droplets for extraction. The process includes determining the characteristic frequency of the interface and using specific types of electrical signals. GlobalData’s report on YPF gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on YPF, was a key innovation area identified from patents. YPF's grant share as of February 2024 was 37%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Oil recovery method using electrical signal for coalescing oil droplets

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: YPF SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11920447B2) discloses a method for oil recovery involving the application of an electrical signal to a reservoir. The method includes determining the characteristic frequency of the water-oil interface in the reservoir and applying an alternating current signal or a combination of direct current and alternating current signals to the reservoir. This electrical signal alters the water-oil interface, causing the coalescence of oil droplets and facilitating the movement of these coalesced oil droplets for extraction.

To determine the characteristic frequency of the water-oil interface, the method involves collecting wellhead oil samples and water samples from the reservoir and subjecting them to electrochemical impedance spectrometry tests. By combining oil and water samples to obtain different water cuts or water-oil ratios and conducting impedance tests within a specific frequency range, the method characterizes the oil-water system and identifies the characteristic frequency of the oil-water interface. The application of the electrical signal to the reservoir can be achieved by connecting injection wells to production wells, with various casing materials such as steel or glass fiber reinforced epoxy. Additionally, the method allows for the connection of multiple injection wells surrounding a production well, each cased with different materials, to enhance the oil recovery process through the alteration of the water-oil interface.

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GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.