Institute of Petroleum Engineering

High Pressure Micromodel Rig

High Pressure Micromodel Rig

Operating conditions:

Pressure: up to 6,000 psia (40 MPa)
Temperature: -20 ºC to 80 ºC


The heart of the micromodel facility is an etched glass pore model consisting either of specifically designed geometrical networks or reproductions of actual thin sections of real sediments. The model has an inlet and outlet which allows fluids to be pumped through the enclosed pore network. Pressure is monitored and controlled on both the inlet and outlet lines, allowing fluid flow to be closely controlled. A digital magnifying camera is used to capture video footage and still images of phase behaviour, which are stored by a PC.

Applications include:

  1. Visual observation of gas hydrate formation and dissociation in various fluid systems at the pore scale (pores are around 40 micrometers in width).
  2. Effect of various chemicals (including salts, organic inhibitors and Low Dosage Hydrate Inhibitors) on hydrate crystal growth and morphology.
  3. Visual observation of gas hydrate distribution and the cementing characteristics of gas hydrates in porous media.
  4. Simulating various gas production scenarios.