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Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery

Larry W. Lake The University of Texas at Austin (512) 471-8233 k @ il d

Chapter p 1- Defining g EOR

Overview Current status Why EOR Incremental oil recovery Comparative performances

Enhanced Oil Recovery Reco er (EOR) is is

Oil recovery by injection of fluids not normally present in reservoir Excludes pressure maintenance or waterflooding Not necessarily tertiary recovery

Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) is

EOR plus l additional dditi l technologies t h l i dealing d li with ith drilling, d illi production, operations, and reservoir characterization An attempt to avoid negative connotation of EOR

Enhanced Oil Recovery Reco er (EOR) is is

End of the Road "If you intend to select reservoir engineering as a career , then you should steer clear of the more 'career' esoteric subjects such as EOR flooding or the recovery y of highly g y viscous crude oils." "While EOR may present the more satisfying intellectual challenge, there is also the risk that it may lead prematurely to the dole queue." L. P. Dake, 1994

Recovery y Mechanisms...
Primary ay Recovery Natural Flow Secondary Recovery y Waterflood Pressure Maintenance
Water - Gas Reinjection

Artificial Lift
Pump p - Gas Lift - Etc.

Conventional Recovery

Tertiary Recovery Thermal Solvent Chemical Other Enhanced Recovery

Source: Adapted from the Oil & Gas Journal, Apr. 23, 1990

Producing Phases
Primary Oil Rate
EL _ P Inj. 0.10




Li Lim


Ave. So


EOR Application Summary

First deliberate application in the 1950s Approximately 10% of US production from EOR US accounts for 1/4 of worldwide production Chemical projects. Meteoric M t i rise i and d fall f ll in i the th 1980s 1980 Least popular EOR today (exc. of FSU, China) Mostly polymer because of tax treatment Fewer than 10 projects Thermal projects Accounts for 50% of EOR oil Around 60 projects, but declining Solvent projects. projects Substantial grow in last 10 years to 130 projects About 50% are CO2 projects Storage opportunities

EOR In the US

From Thomas, 2007

EOR Worldwide (2006)

Total EOR=2.5 MMBPD From Thomas, 2007

Major EOR Projects (2006)

From Thomas, 2007

Chapter p 1- Defining g EOR

Overview Current status Why EOR

Reserves: What are They?

Petroleum (crude, (crude condensate, condensate gas) recoverable From known reservoirs Under p prevailing g economics With existing technology Three categories P Proved d (90% certain) t i ) Probable (50%) Possible (10%) Present reserves = Previous reserves-Production+Additions

Reserves Additions
Discovery Di of f new fields fi ld Discovery of new reservoirs in known fields Extensions E t i of f known k fi fields ld Redefinition of reserves because of Economics Extraction technology

The Argument g for EOR

Worldwide consumption increase at a boring rate (2%/yr) Reserves not generally replaced Requires discovery of giant fi ld (100 MM bbl fields bbls in i place) l ) Drilling g alone Requires large capital investment Drilling rate inversely correlated with finding rate

Growing Energy Demand

Oil Consumption and Industrialization
Oil Consumption Increases Fastest During Early Industrialization
35 Per C Capita (Barr rels per Yea ar) 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
19 900 19 910 19 920 19 930 19 935 19 940 19 945 19 960 19 965 19 970 19 975 19 985 19 905 19 915 19 925 19 950 19 955 19 980 19 990



South Korea China India

19 995 20 000

Source: BP Statistical Review, Respective Census Bureaus, Marc Faber Limited, RJ&A

The Argument g for EOR (cont.) ( )

EOR applies pp to known reservoirs No need to find them Some infrastructure in place Markets available Technology is mature and cost effective 65% of oil remains after secondary recovery

Distribution of Ultimate Recovery

Substantial quantities of oil left behind.





0.0 Europe* Former USSR* Middle East* Africa*


Far East*

Latin America*


From Laherrere, 2002

Chapter p 1- Defining g EOR

Overview Current status Why EOR Incremental oil recovery

Definition of Incremental Oil... Oil

A Oil P Production Rate EOR Operation

Incremental EOR B

Ti Time

Incremental Oil Recovery y( (IOR) )

Oil ( (HC) )p produced in excess of existing (conventional) operations Difficulties. Comingled production Oil from outside project Inaccurate decline estimates IOR IOR recovery efficiency = 100 OOIP

Schematic of Solvent Flood

Fig. 7-1

Drawing by Joe Lindley, U.S. Department of Energy, Bartlesville, OK

Other CO2 Floods...


Sundown Slaughter
(From Folger and Guillot, 1996)

18000 16000

Means San Andres Unit

Began (Nov v. '83) CO2 Inject tion
18% HCPV CO Injection 2

B Barrels/Day


Actual Oil


12000 10000 8000

Recovery, % OOIP P+S To Date 37.2 EOR 3.2

Continued Waterflood
100 1987

6000 4000

Ultimate 38.7 11 (7)* *Original EOR Estimate

Continued Waterflood








2000 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

80000 70000 60000


Seminole San Andres Unit

Began (Mar. '83) CO2 Injection n Recovery, % OOIP P+S To Date 45.2 EOR 6.7

Ford Geraldine Unit

Beg gan (Feb. '81) CO2 Injection
R Recovery, % OOIP P+S To Date 21.8 EOR 7




50000 40000 30000 20000 10000

Ultimate 47.2 17 (17)* *Original EOR Estimate

Ultimate 21.8 15 (8)* *Original EOR Estimate


46% HCPV CO2 Injection I j ti 20 MCF/D CO2 Source Secured

25% HCPV CO Injection 2 500

Continued Waterflood Year

0 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

End of Water Injection

0 1978 1980 1982 1984

Continued Waterflood
1986 1988 1990 1992


Chemical C e ca Flooding ood g

Gradual change to water

Polymer Additives

See below

Low salinity Low calcium Usually 0.5 PV

Surfactant, Polymer, Micellar-polymer Mobility control

Surfactant Co-surfactant Co-solvent Polymer Usually 0.1-0.3 PV No slug

Alkaline Surfactant, ASP

Surfactant Polymer Alkaline agent g Usually 0.1-0.3 PV

Chemical Flood Results.

North Burbank Unit

Daqing ASP

Daqing Polymer

Process Variations

Steam soak
Steam Shut in Oil + Water

Cold Oil


Cold Oil

Cold oil

Hot Water

Cold Oil

Cold oil

Hot Water

Cold Oil

Inject (2-30 days) Steam

Soak (5-30 days)

Produce (1-6 months) Oil + Water

Steam Drive



Cold Oil

Steam Soak - Paris Valley Field

Cruse 'E' (IADB) Expanded Steamflood...

B rning the Oil... Burning Oil

West Buffalo Red River Unit

Primary y Recovery: y 6.5 % STOOIP

More Variations
Using g horizontal wells (SAGD)

Burning the t eO Oil

Foster Creek (EnCana)

Current production ~ 40000 bbl/d (Q1 2006)

Weaning from Light Oil

The Problem: Reserves of ultraheavy (stranded) crude are enormous The Initiative: Make recovery y of this resource economical and environmentally benign - Optimizing SAGD - Alternative heating technologies High Value Products - In situ upgrading Naphtha
Light Processing
Producer Heater Heater

Jet Diesel Nat. Nat Gas Hydrogen Chem. Feed Heat

High Temperature Causes Long, Horizontal Fractures

Next Research Phase

2 Step Process (at least) to Commercial
Freezewall Technology For Groundwater Isolation

Freezewall Test Football field sized test on 10 acres near

Heater & Producer Wells Water & Temperature Monitor Wells

Freeze Wells

existing research Test robustness of freezewall barrier Active construction/production p from late 05 early 07 Reclamation 2010

Solid Shale

Natural Fractured Shale Aquifers


Shell Unconventional Resource Energy - White House Briefing April 11th, 2005


Ice Wall on Surface

Athabasca Oil Sands Mining

True in-situ processing is being pursued in the Piceance Basin by y four companies p
Shell (Leached zone) Chevron (Mahogany zone)

AMSO (Illitic shale)

Better water quality aquife er system

ExxonMobil (S li zone) (Saline )

1000 ft

Mahogany zone Heat injection well Dissolution surface Production well Saline water

2000 0 ft

Nahcolitic oil shale cap rock Illitic oil shale 2000 ft


Chemical EOR Processes Processes...

Process P l Polymer Micellar/ polymer (SP) Alkaline/ polymer p y ASP Adj. Sal Ult. Recovery (%) 5 15 5 20 10 Typical Agent Utilization 1 lb polymer/ l / inc. bbl 15-25 lb surfactant/ inc. bbl 35-45 lb chemical/ inc. bbl Sum of SP/AP ---

Solvent EOR Processes...

Process Typical Ult. Ult Agent Recovery % OOIP Utilization 10-15 5 10 5-10 10 MCF/inc. bbl 10 MCF/i MCF/inc. bbl

Miscible I Immiscible i ibl

Thermal Reco Recovery er Processes Processes...

P Process Typical T i l Ult. Ult Recovery % OOIP 50-65 Agent A t Utilization

Steam (drive and soak) ) Combustion SAGD Various EM

0.5 bbl / net inc. bbl

10-15 ?? Like steam

10 MCF air/inc. bbl ?? Like steam