Definition - What does Encapsulation mean?

Encapsulation is the act of absorbing a polymer film onto the wellbore walls to create a barrier so as to separate out one component, which may be fluid or gas or solid, from another component in a mixture by surrounding it. Encapsulation is used to separate water droplets in the emulsion of crude oil and water by adding additives. In oil well drilling operations, drilling fluid additives cause formation of coating on the cuttings which helps in delaying wellbore problems.

Petropedia explains Encapsulation

Encapsulation ensures that in a mixture of two or more fluid or gas or solid components, one component is surrounded by a membrane so as to separate it from other component(s). Water is always associated with crude oil production and it is quite difficult and costly to separate it from crude oil. Encapsulation technique makes the process less costly and difficult by adding certain additives to encapsulate water droplets within the oil-water mixture. Also, in oil well drilling operations, drilling fluid additives are used to encapsulate the wellbore walls and cuttings by forming a coating over them.

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