Nano thermal insulator is a promising material in heavy oil exploitation field. Three types of nano thermal insulating materials with different pore structures were obtained and characterized by DLS, SEM and thermal conductivity. Core flooding was conducted by nano thermal insulator injection followed by steam. The results showed that the nano thermal insulators with the unique high-continuous interwoven honeycomb structure and stable bonding structure inside the frame. The optimum recovery was using 0.2 PV of 0.3 wt% nano thermal insulators, and the heat loss reduced up to 49.3% and recovery get 18.14% increase, which can substantially reduce steam consumption to ensure economic effectiveness and improve oil recovery.
Keywords Heavy oil, steam injection, nano thermal insulation, enhanced oil recovery