Enhanced Oil Recovery

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Enhanced oil recovery, Petroleum Pages: 10 (3085 words) Published: May 6, 2012
INTRODUCTION

Oil and Gas refers to the naturally occurring liquid and natural gas specifically made up of long chain hydrocarbons and various organic compounds found beneath the surface of the earth in entrapments called reservoirs; the presence of oil and gas in these reservoirs is the reason humans survive everyday and carry out their daily activities effectively. Different activities are usually carried out to ensure that the oil and gas present in the reservoirs continue to support humans through their day-to-day activities; such activities include exploration, development, production and finally, abandonment and reclamation. This process is what is referred to as “the oil and gas process”. On completion of this process, numerous efforts are made to increase the quantity of oil that can be extracted again from the oil well and we refer to these efforts as “recovery”. There are three main types of recovery, primary recovery (solution gas, gas cap and natural water drive) secondary recovery (gas injection and water flooding) and tertiary recovery (enhanced oil recovery EOR, polymer flooding and steam flooding). In this article, analysis on the “enhanced oil recovery” technology and trends will be emphasized upon.

ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY

Enhanced oil recovery becomes very vital when oil production has to be increased to obtain a recovery percentage of at least 75% (Rigzone, 2009). This can only achieved by using any of the four basic methods of EOR; these methods include chemical flooding, miscible gas displacement, thermal recovery and microbial EOR. Among these four mentioned, “Thermal methods are the oldest EOR methods, they have been developed over the last thirty years” (Elsevier, 1981). Miscible gas displacement also called “gas injection” by some engineers refers to the process of injecting CO2, natural gas and Nitrogen into a reservoir; “in miscible gas displacement, the gas is injected at or above the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) which causes the gas to be miscible in oil” (Bandar, 2007). Chemical flooding also called “chemical injection” involves injecting chemicals such as a polymer directly into the reservoir to enhance the oil recovery. 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 (Rigzone, 2009). Over 50% of the tertiary recovery method employed by the United States of America is the thermal recovery method.

MISCIBLE GAS DISPLACEMENT

The most common gas employed when “gas injection” is being used is the CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas. The two major reasons why carbon dioxide is used are because it is miscible with crude oil and also it is the cheapest of all the other miscible fluids present. Carbon dioxide injection into the reservoir based on previous experiences has shown that a recovery of up to 15% of the oil that was originally in the reservoir is achievable. With the injection of the carbon dioxide gas, changes occur in the reservoir such and temperature and pressure changes. Through the changes in temperature and pressure, carbon dioxide can form a solid, liquid, gas and supercritical fluid (Teledyne, 2007). Furthermore, when carbon dioxide has been injected into the reservoir, it begins to form a homogeneous mixture with the crude oil thus, the light hydrocarbons, which are present in the crude, mix with the carbon dioxide gas and this dissolves the oil. Upon miscibility of the carbon dioxide gas and the crude, the physical forces separating the liquid phase and the gaseous phase gives way and this helps the carbon dioxide gas move the oil from the rocks towards the wells for production. According to the USDOE, a very good example of an applied carbon dioxide gas injection technique is the Wasson. Field's Denver Unit CO2 EOR project which has resulted in more than 120 million incremental barrels of oil through 2008 (2010). Moreover, carbon dioxide...

References: Bandar, D. A., 2011. Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques and Nitrogen Injection. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.cseg.ca/publications/recorder/2007/10oct/oct2007-enhanced-oil-recovery.pdf> [Accessed 09 November 11].
Bio Basics, 2011. Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://biobasics.gc.ca/english/View.asp?x=793> [Accessed 16 November 2011].
Euro Asia Industry, 2011. Industry Review: Enhanced oil recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.euroasiaindustry.com/page/232/Every-Last-Drop> [Accessed 18 November 2011].
Gary, A. P., 2011. Overview of Chemical EOR. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.uwyo.edu/eori/_files/misc_download/Overview%20of%20chemical%20EOR.pdf> [Accessed 29 October 2011].
Gunhild Bodtker, 2011. Hydrocarbon-degrading Bacteria [IMAGE ONLINE]. Available at: <http://www.cipr.uni.no/person.aspx?person=401> [Accessed 16 November 11].
Jim, K., 2011. History of Enhanced Oil Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sooperarticles.com/news-society-articles/world-records-articles/history-enhanced-oil-recovery-54140.html. [Accessed 18 November 2011].
John, F. F. ed., 1981. Enhanced oil recovery: proceedings of the third European Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, held in Bournemouth, U.K., September 21-23, 1981. Illustrated: Elsevier.
Kansas Geological Survey, 1999. CO2 Flooding [IMAGE ONLINE]. Available at: <http://www.kgs.ku.edu/CO2/evaluation/slide03.html> [Accessed 19 November 11].
Magne, M., 2011. CO2 as Injection Gas for Enhanced Oil Recovery and Estimation of the Potential on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.co2.no/download.asp?DAFID=28&DAAID=6> [Accessed 02 November 2011].
Midcon Energy, 2011. Chemical Flooding. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.midcon-energy.com/chemical.php>[Accessed 18 November 2011].
Mike, M., 2011. Enhanced Oil Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.oilandgasevaluationreport.com/2010/04/articles/oil-field-basics-1/enhanced-oil-recovery/> [Accessed 22 October 2011].
Mike, M., 2011. Chemical Flood. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.oilandgasevaluationreport.com/tags/chemical-flood/> [Accessed 06 November 2011].
MK Tech Solutions. 2011. Miscible Gas Injection. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.mktechsolutions.com/Miscble%20Gas.htm> [Accessed 12 November 2011].
Oil Chem Technologies, 2011. Chemical EOR, IOR Enhanced Oil Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.oil-chem.com/eor.htm> [Accessed 19 November 2011].
Oil Chem Technologies, 2011. EOR Published Field Results:
Daqing Oil Field ASP Projects, Daqing, China
Petroleum Development Oman, 2011. Thermal Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.pdo.co.om/pdoweb/tabid/277/Default.aspx> [Accessed 15 November 2011].
Rigzone, 2009. What Is EOR, and How Does It Work?. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.rigzone.com/training/insight.asp?i_id=313> [Accessed 18 November 11].
Ronald, E., T., 2011. Enhanced Oil Recovery. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.firp.ula.ve/archivos/cuadernos/01_Chap_Terry_EOR.pdf> [Accessed 10 November 2011].
Schlumberger. 2011. Nitrogen Injection: Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/Display.cfm?Term=nitrogen%20injection> [Accessed 22 November 2011].
Science Daily, 2011. CO2 Injection Boosts Oil Recovery, Captures Emissions. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110091718.htm> [Accessed 15 November 2011].
Teledyne ISCO, 2011. Enhanced Oil Recovery: Syringe Pump Application Note. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.nikkaki-bios.jp/INS/ISCO/application/AN7_Enhanced_Oil_Recovery.pdf> [Accessed 20 November 2011].
The Energy Lab, 2011. Enhanced Oil Recovery - Chemical Methods. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/ep_technologies/improvedrecovery/enhancedoilrecovery/Chemical.html> [Accessed 13 November 2011].
The Energy Lab, 2011. Chemical Flooding: Micellar-Polymer [IMAGE ONLINE]. Available at: <http://www.netl.doe.gov/newsroom/100yr/history.html> [Accessed 19 November 11].
The Piping Guide, 2009. Steam Injection [IMAGE ONLINE]. Available at: <http://www.pipingguide.net/2009/05/primary-secondary-movement-of-oil.html> [Accessed 16 November 11].
The Piping Guide, 2009. In-situ Combustion [IMAGE ONLINE]. Available at: <http://www.pipingguide.net/2009/05/primary-secondary-movement-of-oil.html> [Accessed 16 November 11].
Zinan, L., 2011. Modern Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery, Theory and Practice. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://lizinan.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/modern-chemical-enhanced-oil-recovery-theory-and-practice/> [Accessed 09 November 2011].
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on predicting elastic rock property changes in a CO2 enhanced oil recovery reservoir using sonic log
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery Market Size and Forecast: 2014-2020 by Future Market Insights Essay
  • Industry updates
  • Oil and Gas industry Essay
  • Essay on recovery
  • Biofilm-Mediated Enhanced Crude Oil Degradation by Essay
  • Peak Oil Essay
  • OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION AND ITS CHALLENGES Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free