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Therefore, each field must be heavily evaluated to determine which type of EOR will work best on the reservoir.

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This is done through reservoir characterization, screening, scoping, and reservoir modeling and simulation. Thermal recovery introduces heat to the reservoir to reduce the viscosity of the oil. Many times, steam is applied to the reservoir, thinning the oil and enhancing its ability to flow. Chemical injection EOR helps to free trapped oil within the reservoir.

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This method introduces long-chained molecules called polymers into the reservoir to increase the efficiency of waterflooding or to boost the effectiveness of surfactants, which are cleansers that help lower surface tension that inhibits the flow of oil through the reservoir. Gas injection used as a tertiary method of recovery involves injecting natural gas, nitrogen or carbon dioxide into the reservoir.

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The gases can either expand and push gases through the reservoir, or mix with or dissolve within the oil, decreasing viscosity and increasing flow. While initial CO2-EOR developments used naturally occurring carbon dioxide deposits, technologies have been developed to inject CO2 created as byproducts from industrial purposes.

Although EOR applications are predominantly employed onshore, technologies are being developed to expand the reach of EOR to offshore applications. Challenges that presently exist for offshore EOR include economics of the development; the weight, space and power limitations of retrofitting existing offshore facilities; and fewer wells that are more widely spaced contributing to displacement, sweep and lag time.

Enhanced Oil Recovery Field

Currently, the application of EOR is being considered for a number of offshore developments. With successful subsea processing and secondary recovery methods employed in offshore environments through water and gas injection, the technologies to apply EOR methods is quickly nearing. The US Department of Energy estimates that currently there are 89 billion barrels of additional oil trapped in onshore reservoirs.

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This is in great contrast to the country's current domestic proven reserves, which is estimated at The DOE stresses that much of this production could be tapped by implementing EOR methods, namely the injection of carbon dioxide. If this oil was added to the US proven reserves, the country would rank fifth in the world for the size of its reserves.

Seismic stimulation advances EOR technology

If this oil could be recovered, the country's dependence on foreign oil would be greatly depreciated, an effort for which the US has been striving. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Polymer International Volume 25, Issue 1.

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      Oil field chemistry : enhanced recovery and production stimulation

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