The main advantage of IOR/EOR projects is that there is a basic understanding of where the barrels are, so the appraisal risks are relatively low. On the other hand, the development of this resource, late in the life of the field, generally means more ‘difficult barrels’ and hence requires the application of advanced technology, innovation and capital investment. Therefore, certain element of risk taking is required, which sometimes acts as a deterrent. Furthermore, in many cases EOR projects have a time lag, where the additional production may take a few years to materialise.
This panel session will examine main policy challenges, as well as drivers and enablers for IOR and EOR projects. The session will open the opportunity to share both technical and economic issues, with emphasis on problems arising from strategic requirements for successful implementation.
The life cycle of an oilfield is typically characterised by three main stages: production buildup, plateau and decline. Sustaining the required production levels over the duration of the life cycle requires a good understanding of the recovery mechanisms involved. For the primary recovery, the life cycle is generally short and does not exceed 20 percent in most cases. For secondary recovery, the incremental recovery ranges from 15–25 percent of the primary. Increasing the recovery factor by an additional 10–30 percent by deploying IOR and EOR technologies will be the main subject matter of this session. The life cycle concept visualises periodic revisits to development strategies of a given oilfield with a view to achieve higher recovery factors. Since redevelopment processes are capex intensive, it is therefore necessary to fully comprehend the underlying risks and it is necessary to have a risk mitigation plan in place for each planned process. Finding the right strategy depends critically on the steady supply of large quantities of fluids and injectants. The timing of EOR process implementation is also very important and is essentially a techno economic question. It is proposed to discuss case studies and deliberate on all these aspects during this session.
The purpose of reservoir characterisation is to develop a fundamental tool that can be applied in determining and optimising hydrocarbon recovery and is the driving force behind effective reservoir management leading to reserve growth. In EOR, the small-scale heterogeneities, not always critical to primary recovery, may affect sweep and displacement efficiencies in EOR operations significantly. When assessing different EOR processes, the first issue that comes to mind is what level of reservoir characterisation is needed and can interpretations made for conventional processes be applied to evaluate the impact of a new technique in the field. The processes are often based on studies at different levels. In the laboratory, the work is focussed on pore or core plug scale. In the field study, a much coarser approach is usually applied to capture the processes, often combined with simplifications made for practical reasons. Can a consensus be reached by the people working the issues at different levels?
A biased or partial approach to reservoir characterisation may result in complete failure or suboptimal results. A number of additional properties are required for the evaluation of some processes and a data acquisition programme is therefore required. Issues such as residual oil saturation and relative permeability as well as fluid data can no longer be represented by the same approaches as for conventional techniques.
The cornerstone of any field development programme (FDP) is the conceptualisation phase; a point at which the choice of designs of wells and completions, subsurface technologies, surface facilities and processes to be adopted are made. These decisions must address the changing behaviour of the reservoirs and produced fluids to optimise recovery whilst managing production targets. This requires an FDP, that is closed loop, allowing for continual improvements.
The session would also cover field optimisation and challenges faced by surface terminal facilities with specific focus on compression, pumping, reinjection requirements for sour gas, nitrogen, CO2; water management solutions and related challenges for water flooding, steam flooding and polymer injection.
Extracting more out of existing reservoirs is taking greater importance with each passing day. Effective management and optimisation of an IOR/EOR operation will need to play an ever increasing role to maximise asset value. This is specially true when the industry is going further, deeper and into more extreme environments, so as to ensure a consistent and sustainable recovery from its investments.
Through knowledge sharing and case studies, this session will focus on management and operational aspects of various IOR/EOR operations such as facilities monitoring, well and facility integrity, flow assurance, separation processes, reservoir surveillance, etc. The session will also look at optimisation of production and recovery from an existing IOR/EOR operation.
The future of oil industry lies not only in finding difficult oil, but also in unlocking the full value of mature assets and making an early start on enablement/adaptation of technologies that can lead to higher recoveries. With the growing experience in IOR/EOR over the years, there is an opportunity for the industry to broaden its horizons, particularly in identifying new areas where the already established IOR/EOR techniques are yet to be applied and can be considered for implementation.
This session will explore applicability of EOR in offshore and remote areas, innovations in solvent and chemical formulations to suit special application, exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons, low salinity waterflooding, etc. along with the techno-economic factors that would govern such tailored implementations. The session speakers have a wide range of experience in IOR/EOR methods and location related challenges in implementation.
Emerging technologies are steering the IOR/EOR domain towards improving recovery from conventional hydrocarbon fields as well as targeting new, deeper and more extreme environments. The session intention is to increase focus on emerging technologies such as low salinity, enhanced gas recovery, new chemicals, microbial, surface equipment, nano particles, or out of the box ideas to create longer term new and better IOR/EOR solutions.
This high level panel session will conclude the workshop with presentations by key invited speakers from the industry. The session will focus on the future of IOR and EOR challenges and the new technologies required to further manage risks and uncertainties.
Our expert panelists will share their experiences, discuss and deliberate the lessons learnt, critical success factors and the future of IOR and EOR.