TOPICS OF INTEREST
One of my best moments is to have made the technical case for polymer flooding and to see the fruits of this several decades later. As is so often the case in our industry, my contribution stands alongside those of many others in the intervening years who have all made the EOR journey possible.
Largest WAG Pilot in Giant Al-Shaheen Field Reveals Optimization Methods
This paper discusses the operation of the largest offshore high-pressure water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection pilot using hydrocarbon (HC) gas, with a gas-injection capacity of approximately 100 MMscf/D, in the giant Al-Shaheen field offshore Qatar.
Interwell EOR Pilot Proves Advantages of Polymer Flooding
This paper discusses an enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) polymer-flood pilot at the Captain field in the UK North Sea during 2011–2013.
The fourth industrial revolution is taking the oil and gas business by storm. Many companies have increased resources for big-data analytics and machine learning. Though no one sees physical oilfield services as in decline, development in these areas may take a back seat to artificial intelligence.
Digital Transformation Increases Value in an Omani Thermal EOR Asset
A thermal asset in Oman is characterized by a large-scale steam-drive/cyclic-steam-soak (CSS) development project, underpinned by extensive data gathering.
Shale EOR Delivers, So Why Won’t the Sector Go Big?
There is every reason to believe that enhanced oil recovery through huff-and-puff injections in US tight-oil plays could be a technical success across large numbers of wells. However, widespread economic success remains uncertain.
New Steamflooding Techniques Pay Off in Mukhaizna Field
This paper covers the staged field-development methodology, including analysis and evaluation of various development concepts, that enabled the company to optimize both completion design and artificial-lift selection, reducing downtime and lowering operating costs by nearly 50%.
Phased Pilot Approach Reduces Uncertainty in Carbonate Steamflood Development
The First Eocene is a multibillion-barrel heavy-oil carbonate reservoir in the Wafra field, located in the Partitioned Zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. After more than 60 years of primary production, expected recovery is low and provides a good target for enhanced-oil-recovery processes.
Viability of Gas-Injection EOR in Eagle Ford Shale Reservoirs
This paper studies the technical and economic viability of this EOR technique in Eagle Ford shale reservoirs using natural gas injection, generally after some period of primary depletion, typically through long, hydraulically fractured horizontal-reach wells.
As operators and asset owners worked continually to increase efficiency in oil production, they all realized that part of efficiency improvement is increasing recovery factors. Everybody now is extremely focused on recovering more from the reservoirs they have.
Experimental Program Investigates Miscible CO2 WAG Injection in Carbonate Reservoirs
This paper provides a robust methodology for miscible CO2 WAG experimental-data acquisition and history matching.
Best Practices for Waterflooding Optimization Improve Oil Recovery in Mature Fields
This paper presents technologies and best practices to improve oil recovery in mature fields through waterflooding optimization. These technologies have proved practical and cost-effective.
Waterflooding With Active Injection-Control Devices Improves Oil Recovery
This paper presents the implementation of an approach for improving oil recovery by water-injection optimization using injection-control devices (ICDs) in unconventional reservoirs.
Water-Injection Techniques Increase Recovery in Conventional Gas Reservoirs
This paper evaluates the incremental benefit of water injection in a conventional gas reservoir when compared with gas compression.
Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Improves Oil Recovery in the Eagle Ford
The Eagle Ford formation has produced approximately 2 billion bbl of oil during the last 7 years, yet its potential may be even greater. Using improved oil-recovery (IOR) methods could result in billions of additional barrels of production.
Seismic Stimulation: An Eco-Friendly, Effective EOR Alternative
Seismic stimulation, achievable with the implementation of a single tool, requires significantly lower investments than gas, thermal, and chemical injection methods, with minimal environmental impact.
In the Shale Business, It’s Time for Another Revolution
The report card for unconventional oil and gas producers from a leading industry analyst is A+ for growth and F- for paying back investors.
In my previous features, I discussed the challenges facing carbon dioxide (CO2), both technical and economic. By far the biggest use of CO2 is in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). In this feature, the focus is on overcoming the biggest challenges facing CO2 EOR—gravity override and mobility.
CO2-Foam Field Pilot Test in a Sandstone Reservoir
This paper presents an analysis of a CO2-foam-injection pilot in the Salt Creek Field, Natrona County, Wyoming.
Integrated CO2-Foam Pilot in a Heterogeneous Carbonate Field
A carbon-dioxide (CO2) -foam enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) pilot research program has been initiated to advance the technology of CO2 foam for mobility control in a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir.
Foaming Behavior of CO2-Soluble, Viscoelastic Surfactant
Aqueous foam has been demonstrated to have promise in conformance-control applications. This paper explores the foaming behavior of a CO2-soluble, cationic, amine-based surfactant.
The evolution of horizontal drilling and multistage completions has changed matrix stimulation from the “more acid, better result” belief to effective lateral distribution and deeper penetration with less acid.
CO2 injection is a successful EOR technology that has been deployed extensively in the Permian Basin. Further expansion of CO2 EOR has been limited by the availability of affordable CO2 rather than the existence of suitable target reservoirs. This situation may be about to change.
Hybrid Solution to the Grand Challenge of Developing Deepwater Stranded Gas
While the floating liquefied-natural-gas (FLNG) option initially looked promising, high capital expenditure and very high operational expense (OPEX) have limited its potential application, with four potential FLNG projects being canceled in Australasia in the last 2 years.
Swellable-Nanogel-Injection Pilot in Mendoza Norte, Argentina
Experimentation reveals that swellable nanogels increase their size faster than expected or produce aggregation leading to serious blocking problems at the sandface. This paper studies if the addition of a surfactant can help improve injectivity.
A Review of Improved-Oil-Recovery Methods in North American Unconventional Reservoirs
In the complete paper, three stages of review have been combined to find out the applicability of the most-feasible improved-oil-recovery (IOR) methods in North American unconventional reservoirs.
EOR Performance and Modeling
Progress in chemical EOR, from polymer to alkaline/surfactant/polymer, has been significant. Not only are there new chemicals with improved recovery capabilities, but also the cost of the chemicals is being reduced continuously. All those factors led to more operators using chemical EOR.
California Becomes a Proving Ground for Solar EOR Technology
If proven economic, solar EOR technology could represent an environmentally and energy friendly solution for California’s heavy oil producers.
Stressed About Production? Consider a Chemical Cocktail
Early field tests suggest chemical treatments may be able to significantly increase production from unconventional formations.
Water-Injection Operations and Gas-Injection Sensitivities in the Bakken Formation
This paper presents the performance results from one of the waterflood pilots in the Viewfield Bakken.
Imbibition Oil Recovery From Tight Rocks With Dual-Wettability Networks in the Montney
Previous studies demonstrate that Montney rock samples present a dual-wettability pore network. Recovery of the oil retained in the small hydrophobic pores is uniquely challenging.
Enhanced Sweep Efficiency by Use of Smart Water in Tight Oil Reservoirs
Currently, there are few studies on smart waterflooding in tight and very tight oil reservoirs. This work examines smart-waterflood opportunities in such reservoirs.
Integrating Enhanced Oil Recovery and Carbon Capture and Storage: Farnsworth Field
The Southwest Partnership on Carbon Sequestration (SWP) is one of seven large-scale demonstration projects sponsored by the US Department of Energy.
Global emissions of CO2 resulting from the use of fossil fuels amount to approximately 35 billion tons/yr. How much of this can we capture? How much can we store or sequester? And, perhaps the most important question: How much will it cost and who will pay?
First CO2-Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Demonstration Project in Saudi Arabia
An operator has designed a demonstration project for carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and has implemented it in one of its fields.
Two Ways To Stretch the Lives of Risers and Mooring Lines
The future of many offshore developments hangs on extending the lives of mooring lines and risers.
It's Hard To Make Money in Deepwater, Even With Billions of Barrels To Produce
Low oil prices have made the goal of this Petrobras project and its four partners to lower the break-even price of operating to USD 35/bbl.
What Vacuum-Insulated Tubings and Casings Bring to Thermal Wells
This paper describes both design and economic considerations that lead to the selection of vacuum-insulated tubing (VIT) or vacuum-insulated casing (VIC) for the completion of thermal wells.
Challenges During Surface-Facility-Project Implementation for a Full-Field Polymer Flood
This paper presents key challenges in surface-facilities-project implementation during the construction and operational-readiness phase of a project and presents results from full-field implementation.
Optimizing the Use of Miscible Injectant at the Greater Prudhoe Bay Fields
This paper provides an overview of all enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) projects in the Greater Prudhoe Bay (GPB) region and presents the process and methodology for MI allocation to these projects and to individual injection patterns.
Overview of Carbon Dioxide Injection and Water-Alternating-Gas Sensitivity
This paper presents an overview of the SACROC Unit’s activity focusing on different carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and water-alternating-gas (WAG) projects that have made the SACROC unit one of the most successful CO2 injection projects in the world.
Cryogenic-Fracturing Treatment of Synthetic Rock With Liquid Nitrogen
This study aims to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of cryogenic-fracturing technology in enhancing the permeability of unconventional-reservoir-rock analogs.
Management: Chemical EOR—A Multidisciplinary Effort To Maximize Value
The implementation of chemical EOR has proven successful but the method faces significant technical and financial challenges.
Significant progress in cost reduction has been made in the industry following the price downturn, not only in the direct cost of construction and operations but also through a determined drive to simplify and streamline new projects in concepts selected for facilities and wells.
Tight formations are candidates for hydraulic fracturing as the default. However, the solubility of carbonate by various chemicals provides opportunities to extend the well drainage radius effectively without the intensive equipment, material, and infrastructure demand of hydraulic fracturing.
Adjustable, Supramolecular Viscosity Modifiers as Displacement Fluids in EOR
We report a novel type of viscosity modifier relying on the supramolecular assemblies that have pH-adjustable viscosities and robust tolerance against high temperatures and salinities, and are resistant to shear-induced degradation.
Renewable Energy Tech Is Now Priced To Reduce Upstream Spending
Renewable energy is often framed as being at odds with the oil and gas industry, but new price developments in the wind and solar sectors may be changing this paradigm, according to one US energy expert.
Cost optimization in heavy-oil production can be achieved through numerical modeling to suggest general optimal strategies and development plans or by using proper real-time data acquisition … for prompt decisions while operations are ongoing.
Fieldwide Determination of Directional Permeabilities Through Transient Well Testing
Knowledge of the maximum- and minimum-permeability directions in anisotropic reservoirs helps to optimize injector and producer locations and is important for reservoir management, especially under secondary or enhanced recovery of hydrocarbons.
EOR Performance and Modeling
Current conditions have made most companies decide to optimize performance of their existing assets, and EOR is a key part of that.
Proper Simulation of Chemical-EOR Pilots—A Real Case Study
A critical step in proper design and optimization of any chemical-enhanced-oil-recovery (CEOR) process is appropriate and precise numerical simulations.
Experimental and Numerical Studies of CO2 EOR in Unconventional Reservoirs
This study explores the mechanisms contributing to oil recovery with numerical modeling of experimental work and investigates the effects of various parameters on oil recovery.
A Field Trial in a Carbonate Reservoir Using a Solvent-Based Waterflood Process
Dimethyl-ether (DME) -enhanced waterflood (DEW) is a process in which DME is added to injection water and, upon injection, preferentially partitions into the remaining oil.
Tapping Difficult Oil in a Giant Carbonate Field in Qatar
After 70 years of production, more than 30% of the Arab C reservoir stock-tank original oil in place has been recovered through various mechanisms including natural depletion, waterflooding, gas lift implementation, and horizontal-well development.
ATCE: Fast Start for First Saudi CO2 EOR Project
Saudi Aramco saw a jump in production for a type of EOR that often takes years to see full benefits.
Use of Partitioning Tracers To Estimate Oil-Saturation Distribution
Partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) have been used to estimate remaining oil saturations (ROSs) during waterflooding.
Scaling Up Smart Water
For nearly a decade, Saudi Aramco has been studying how altering the chemical makeup of seawater injected into its reservoirs can increase production. The result is "smart water" that can boost the sweep effectiveness of a waterflood.
Modeling of a Complex Reservoir Where the Normal Modeling Rules Do Not Apply
With the easy conventional oil in Argentina having been produced, one remaining way to find new oil in existing fields is to convert fields from primary or secondary production to secondary or tertiary production, respectively.
There remain a number of challenges with CO2 EOR. These include gravity override, poor sweep efficiency, and economic factors.
Viscosity and Stability of Dry CO2 Foams for Improved Oil Recovery
Carbon dioxide (CO2)/water foams are of interest for mobility control in CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and as energized fracture fluids or as hybrid processes that combine aspects of both processes.
CO2-Based Enhanced Oil Recovery From Unconventional Reservoirs
In this study, detailed petrophysical and geological field models focusing on the middle and lower members of the Bakken Formation were developed.
EOR-For-Shale Ideas to Boost Output Gain Traction
The low recovery rates observed in most shale reservoirs has prompted a number of research projects to develop new enhanced oil recovery methods.
A New EOR Concept From Shell To Enhance Waterflooding
Part of what makes DME an intriguing EOR technology is that it is soluble in both water and oil—with a preference for the latter. Shell’s plan is to add DME to the waterflooding stream to reach a concentration of about 16%, the upper limit of its dissolvability.
Miscible and Immiscible Gas-Injection Pilots in a Middle East Offshore Environment
This paper describes a gas-injection pilot that has been implemented in offshore Middle East carbonate reservoirs to assess injectivity, productivity, macroscopic-sweep efficiency, flow assurance, and operational efficiency in a field that has a long water-injection history.
Case Study: Steam-Injection Step-Rate Tests Run in the Orcutt Oil Field
The operator has initiated a cyclic-steam-stimulation project in the Opal A diatomite of the Sisquoc formation on the Careaga lease in the Orcutt oil field in Santa Barbara County, California. This paper discusses steam-injection step-rate tests (SRTs) for this asset as part of its expansion.
Polymer Injection in Deepwater Field Offshore Angola
The polymer-injection project in the Dalia field, one of the main fields of Block 17 in deepwater Angola, represents a world first for both surface and subsurface aspects.
Colloidal-Dispersion Gel in a Heterogeneous Reservoir in Argentina
The Loma Alta Sur (LAS) field is a multilayer fluvial sandstone reservoir in the Neuquén basin of Argentina. Colloidal-dispersion-gel injection was considered a viable strategy to improve oil recovery in the field after early water breakthrough.
Since 2006, production from gas injection has outstripped that from thermal, and is continuing to grow. Even though industry conditions remain tough, EOR is expected to be increasingly important in the future, with the possibility of further uptake of it linked to the climate-change agenda.
Mature Flood Surveillance Using Streamlines
With the recent drop in oil prices, operators are shifting to optimization of existing assets with minimal costs. For mature floods (water, chemical, and CO2), one low-cost optimization strategy is the intelligent adjustment of well-rate targets.
Chemical EOR for Heavy Oil: The Canadian Experience
Chemical enhanced-oil-recovery methods such as polymer and alkaline/surfactant/polymer (ASP) flooding are generally not considered suitable for oil viscosities greater than 100 or 200 cp.
Solvent-Enhanced Steamdrive: Experiences From the First Field Pilot
The addition of a hydrocarbon condensate to steam operations in heavy-oil and bitumen reservoirs has emerged as a potential technology to improve not only oil recovery but also energy efficiency.
Pilot Tests of New Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Technologies for Heavy-Oil Reservoirs
Thermal steam stimulation is considered the most effective of current methods for heavy-oil production. However, the method has problems with low coverage by steam injection and decreased efficiency.
Custom Biological Produced Water Treatment Yields Fast Oil Recovery Boost in Waterflood
This article describes how the use of a biological EOR technique that applied produced water for reservoir flooding in a mature field led to rapid and substantial increases in oil production.
EOR-Feasibility Study for a Large Carbonate Field in Kuwait
This study provides technical analysis of the viability of enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) processes; the results indicate the potential for significant improvement in recovery efficiency over continued waterflooding.
Simulation of Residual Oil Saturation Through Tuning of Equilibrium Constants
Conventional miscible- or near-miscible-gasflood simulation often overestimates oil recovery, mostly because it does not capture a series of physical effects tending to limit interphase compositional exchanges.
Designing an Optimized Surfactant Flood in the Bakken
The Bakken’s ultratight, largely oil-wet nature limits the potential of waterflooding. As an alternative, an optimally spaced well-to-well surfactant-flooding technology is proposed.
Method for Adaptive Optimization of EOR Performance Under Uncertainty
The authors present a method to reduce uncertainty in EOR performance adaptively while identifying an optimal operational strategy for a given tolerance to risk.
EOR Performance and Modeling
Limited design capability, few number of field tests, and lack of monitoring and control were the reasons most EOR projects did not perform in the past. All those are history now.
Field-Development-Plan Optimization of a Giant Field for Recovery Improvement
To optimize the development plan of a giant carbonate reservoir offshore Abu Dhabi to extend the production plateau and improve recovery, detailed sector models were used to facilitate the large number of required simulation runs.
New Technologies Maximize Production in Viscous-Oil North Slope Field
Oil quality and drilling-pad constraints for a viscous-oil field defined a development scheme that consisted of a waterflood line drive with horizontal producers and water-injection (WINJ) wells side by side.
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