Viscosity of the crude oil

As written at Wikipedia: "in everyday terms viscosity is thickness" or as Newton found out, "in any flow layers move at different velocities and the fluid's viscosity arises from the shear stress between the layers ...." . We will not talk more about the scientific background at this place, for details, please see Wikipedia
In more simpler words water has a viscosity of around 1cP, whereas honey has a viscosity in between 2000 and 10000cP. The viscosity in general decrease if the temperature of the liquid is higher. Coming back to the honey, at 20°C it is thicker and less flow able than the same honey heated to 50°C. 

In Crude oil there is not only oil and water but in some cases, depending on the oil field as well other ingredients. Especially tar is playing a big role if it comes to the viscosity of the crude oil. As more tar or other viscous ingredients the crude oil contains, as higher the viscosity of the crude, and as thougher it gets to be transported. 
Having a high viscous liquid pumped, needs a lot of energy in the pumps, there is a lot of strain to them, and they are wearing out rather fast. 
Also the relation in between the temperature and the viscosity is used by the oil companies. The crude is heated, before transporting it through a pipe line. The heat at the beginning of the pipeline has be so high, that the temperature at the end of the pipe line still allows the crude to be pumped. 
All this describes the major problems with viscosity in the oil industry, and it can be said, there has to be put a lot of energy in the heating and the pumps in order to get this oil pumped at all.
We even know about cases, where the crude is so viscous, that i makes economical only very little sense to use this crude, because the cost of transportation will be just to high.

Merus should be able to lower the negative effects of the viscosity

From theoretical point of view Merus should improve this negative side effects of the viscosity. If there are traces of water left in the crude, than this water will be used as a lubricate in between the different layers of the liquid, and so reduce the shear forces.
To make it better to understand here an example from the daily live. If you are driving your car on a try road, the grip of the tires are very good. In the case it is heavy raining and there will be a film of water on the street, it is easy for the tires to loose their grip on the street, the car starts to swim on the water.
In a very far sense the same will happen to the crude. Water will lower the friction in the crude, and therefore it should be far easier to pump the crude. Right now this is all theory and some tests have been done. The tests are not too clear, but we learned very early real answers to certain problems you will only get in the field, and by testing under the real conditions. 
Merus is very well aware of that results will be not the same with all types of high viscous crude. Therefore we will give generous terms to the trails we might do together with customers.

 

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