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Oil & Natural Gas Supply


The past and ongoing research into enhanced oil recovery (EOR) can be roughly divided into four general areas:

—Gas injection, including CO2, N2, NGL, flue

—Chemical, including
surfactant, surfactant with polymer, surfactant with foam

—Thermal, including convention steam, steam assisted gravity drainage, cyclic injection, and in-situ combustion

—Conformance and related| issues. 

Each area has its own history, potential, technology, opportunities and obstacles. The obstacles can be categorized as technical, economic, and legal/regulatory. Each area is needed to maximize the production potential of the domestic fields. The “prize” is quite large, however. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 175 billion barrels have been produced in the U.S. (excluding the deep and ultra-deep water Gulf of Mexico. However, from those same fields 400 billion barrels are “stranded” after traditional primary and secondary oil recovery. This compares to an estimated 21 billion barrels of proven reserves, so the opportunities are enormous.

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White Paper – Issues, Current Work and Future Direction

Enhanced Oil Recovery White Paper

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Technology Tidbit of the Month

Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery

Penn State University announced on August 7, 2014 the publication of a new book, Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery. The authors are Penn's State professor, Russell Johns, and University of Texas at Austin professors, Larry Lake, Bill Rossen and Gary Pope. The book address EOR processes and discusses EOR technologies for increasing the volume of oil produced from reservoirs. "There are three main categories of EOR, including thermal recovery, gas injection and chemical injection. Currently, carbon dioxide injection is the most widely used EOR technique." The book is an update on the 1989 Enhanced Oil Recovery by Larry Lake. New technologies discussed include low-salinity EOR, steam-assisted gravity drainage, thermodynamics, and foam EOR. Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery is available through the SPE bookstore.


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