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DuPont Hybrid Membrane Technology Selected by Oil Filtration Specialist to Help Improve Drilling Efficiency and Lessen Environmental Impact

Wilmington, Delaware, September 5, 2007

DuPont today announced that its Hybrid Membrane Technology (HMT) media has been specified for filters that will be used to clean oil field completion fluids by Total Separation Solutions (TSS).  TSS, whose investors include Shell Technology Ventures, provides unique high-value products and equipment for increased productivity and environmentally responsible processing of oil field fluids.

“The need for effective filtration of completion fluids is a key issue for the industry, particularly in offshore drilling where unusable fluids must be stored in holding tanks. This becomes a significant expense for the driller,” said Michael Jacobs, DuPont Business Development Manager – Liquid Filtration.  “It is hoped that DuPont HMT will lead to a more efficient drilling cycle and extend well life, making it an improvement over incumbent materials used in the filtration process.”

Completion fluids are expensive, high density, extremely clean fluids used to do work on offshore wells when the fluid might contact the oil bearing formation. These bromide and formate fluids can weigh up to 20 pounds per gallon and cost up to $4,000 per barrel. 

Typically cleaners and tools are first used to clean the well.  Then completion fluids are circulated in the well before any work is done to the formation.  Throughout the industry, completion fluids are recycled to better manage costs and the potential environmental impact of disposal.  It is important to capture as much debris as possible during the filtration process because recycled completion fluids with high levels of debris will eventually clog the routes by which the oil travels to the surface, shortening the lifespan of a well. 

“The DuPont HMT nanofiber has two advantages over existing filtration media. First, its flow rate allows completion fluids to be pumped at a higher rate, and time is money on an offshore rig,” said Kevin Smith, Founder of TSS.  “Additionally, these fluids are often contaminated and you need 0.5 micron filtration to remove particles.  Although there are other 0.5 micron media in the marketplace, what they provide in filtration, they sacrifice in flow rate.  DuPont HMT has been shown to offer the best combination of filtration and flow rate.”

DuPont HMT is comprised of continuous sub-micron polymeric filaments with a diameter between 100 nanometers and 1 micron and provides a long-awaited option to fill the performance gaps between microporous membranes and traditional nonwovens.  The technology uses a proprietary spinning process that creates a membrane-like nonwoven sheet structure to deliver next-generation functionality across a wide range of microfiltration applications.  In addition to improving the flux/barrier performance for air and liquid filtration applications, DuPont HMT adds breathability and protection to bedding and apparel products and can significantly improve safety, durability, and energy performance in a variety of battery and capacitor applications.  DuPont HMT recently received a prestigious IDEA Achievement Award at The International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Expo.  

DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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Wendy James