Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies are used to increase the amount of oil that can be extracted from an existing oil field after the primary and secondary production stages. These technologies play on the physics of how oil is trapped in the rocks and are primarily aimed at either decreasing the interfacial forces holding the oil in pores within the rock formation, reducing the viscosity difference between the oil and water phases, or modifying the reservoir and oil properties to release the oil more easily.
With increasing global energy demand, high-sustained oil prices, aging oil fields and a scarcity of conventional oil discovery, enhanced oil recovery techniques are set to play an increasingly important role in the global oil industry over the coming decades. Although some short-term downturns occurred through the years, the growth rates and EOR methods employed vary considerably from country to county; a strong growth in oil recovery is still anticipated in each of the three main EOR sub-markets: thermal, gas and chemical.
Application scope for EOR:
-Identify commercially available additives, which are effective in reducing the mobility of carbon dioxide (CO2), thereby improving its efficiency and yield in the recovery of tertiary oil
-The control and/or reduction in oil saturation with a waterflood-containing surfactant concentration
-The use of foam to lower the mobility of gases used to displace oil
-Visco-elasticity measurements at varying shear help explain the dramatic change in gas/liquid/oil mobility
-Selection of the added surfactants and water-soluble polymers
-Environmental remedy and protection issues