Role of U.S. Government in Promoting Enhanced Oil-Recovery Techniques
- H.D. Guthrie (U.S. DOE)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1978
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,086 - 1,088
- 1978. Not subject to copyright. This document was prepared by government employees or with government funding that places it in the public domain.
- 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods
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This paper describes the role of the U.S. government in promoting enhanced oil-recovery technology. Today, 21 major, multiyear, cost-shared enhanced oil-recovery contracts exist with industry. The goal of the federal program is to increase production by 900,000 B/D by 1985 and to add 15 billion bbl of oil to proved reserves.
When one considers that more than 50% of the crude oil used in the U.S. is supplied by foreign countries, there is little doubt that increasing this nation's ability to produce oil is important. One near-term solution to this problem of dependence on foreign oil is to augment domestic supplies by applying enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to known domestic oil deposits. The targets for EOR application are the known 290 billion bbl of normal gravity oil, the more than 100 billion bbl of heavy oil, and the more than 30 billion bbl of bitumen in tar sand deposits (Table 1). The federal role in petroleum-production research and development (R and D) was historically of low profile because of the many R and D laboratories and efforts of major oil companies. For many years the USBM has conducted a modest in-house R and D effort at its energy research centers in Morgantown, WV; Bartlesville, OK; Laramie, WY; and San Francisco, CA. In fiscal year 1974, a moderate increase in funding permitted USBM to enter into cost-shared contracts with industry for EOR field demonstrations. The EOR program then was transferred from USBM to U. S . ERDA when it was formed Jan. 19, 1975, and to DOE when it was formed Oct. 1, 1977. The EOR program in DOE now has grown to funding of $46.1 million program in DOE now has grown to funding of $46.1 million in fiscal year 1978. There are currently 21 major cost-shared contracts with industry, at a total cost of $159 million. Additional supporting research is conducted at energy research centers, national laboratories, and many universities. To understand the role of government when using EOR technology is to understand the goals, plans, and current status of the DOE program for EOR.
A primary objective of the DOE program is to stimulate the improvement of recovery efficiency from the presently estimated level of 32% of the original oil in place to presently estimated level of 32% of the original oil in place to a level of 35 to 38%. * With the estimated original oil in place exceeding 400 billion bbl, this somewhat small place exceeding 400 billion bbl, this somewhat small increase in percentage of oil recovery would be a substantial amount of additional oil. It could increase our proved reserves as of 1976 by one-third to more than one-half. The initial goal for increased incremental production by 1985 was so at USBM as a result of information generated from the federal Project Independence Blueprint analysis in 1972. It was estimated that, with favorable economics and an aggressive R and D program, EOR could provide a daily production increment of about 1.5 million bbl by 1985. The estimate was broken down further into about 500,000 bbl daily from normal industry commercialization and about 1 million bbl daily from the impact of the suggested R and D program. Those essentially were the goals adopted by ERDA when the EOR program was transferred in Jan. 1975. program was transferred in Jan. 1975. JPT
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