Techbits: Workshop Discusses Framework for Successful EOR Project
- _ JPT staff (_)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 104 - 105
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More than 130 professionals comprising geoscientists and engineers, government officials, executives of public and private operating firms and service companies met in May in Manta, Ecuador, for a workshop on enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The workshop, titled “EOR: Technical and Managerial Framework for Ensuring a Successful Implementation,” covered the successful implementation of EOR projects, including the design and essential criteria for evaluating a pilot project, technical complexities, experiences, results from several international projects, implementation costs, and time to achieve commercial results.
EOR processes have been applied for decades, with steam injection, gas injection, and polymer injection the most common. Steam injection is used primarily in producing heavy and extra-heavy oil in shallow reservoirs; however, further research is needed for its application in deep reservoirs. Enhanced recovery through gas injection (hydrocarbons, nitrogen, and CO2) has increased rapidly in recent years because of its low risk, and has interesting potential for use in carbonate reservoirs. The main challenges for CO2 injection processes are the availability and distribution to candidate fields.
Successful implementation of enhanced recovery processes require detailed geological knowledge of the reservoirs. Therefore, it is important to plan and execute appropriate actions for the acquisition and interpretation of data that will allow adequate characterization of the reservoirs and their fluids, thus reducing uncertainty in the understanding of the underground formations.
With data gathered from the reservoir and its fluids and with the scrutiny rules developed in the past several decades, it is possible to establish initial alternatives for enhanced recovery efficiently. It is noteworthy that these pre-selection criteria should not be taken as absolute rules; they are useful as a practical tool used by specialists with experience in enhanced recovery techniques. Data mining tools that complement the scrutiny work have been recently developed.
LaboratoryLaboratory experiments are needed to define the most appropriate EOR process and the formulation to be injected. Estimate in the laboratory also help in understanding the recovery potential (recovery factor), and the main mechanisms responsible for the displacement of the remaining oil. Among the most relevant aspects for evaluation are interfacial phenomena, phase behavior, capillary pressure, relative permeability, minimum miscibility pressure, and the interaction between fluids and reservoir stone. With efficiency in mind, laboratory studies should be performed in parallel with other phases of the process, such as reservoir characterization.
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