The Economics of Enhanced Oil Recovery and Its Position Relative to Synfuels
- Charles W. Perry (U.S. DOE)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1981
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2,033 - 2,041
- 1981. 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), 4.3.4 Scale, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 7.4.5 Future of energy/oil and gas
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The options of enhanced oil recovery (EOR), coal syncrude, and shale syncrude are compared by approximately equivalent methods. The physical constraints for the major enhanced oil-recovery processes are described, followed by updated processes are described, followed by updated estimates of cost. The range for all three options in terms of light syncrude equivalent are $22 to $40 per barrel (0.159 m3) in 1980 dollars under the assumptions made.
The U.S. has many options for future alternative energy sources. As more mature thinking enters the prolonged debates within the energy industries and prolonged debates within the energy industries and the federal government about the merits of each, certain unsettled concepts become more clear. 1. Relative economics determines choices. 2. Electric-power generation should be largely the province of coal and nuclear (solar will make significant contributions later). 3. Natural-liquid hydrocarbons will assume the principal functions of transportion fuels and principal functions of transportion fuels and petrochemical feedstocks. petrochemical feedstocks. 4. On the basis of hardening economics, shale oil will accelerate in importance followed by refined coal liquids. 5. The U.S. will remain heavily dependent on crude oil and natural gas through the 1980's and well into the 1990's. 6. EOR will become increasingly important. This paper emphasizes EOR as the energy alternative of greatest interest to petroleum engineers. The major processes of steam flooding, in-situ combustion, CO2 miscible, and surfactant/polymer are reviewed briefly with attention to constraints on predictable results. A revised set of consistent cost predictable results. A revised set of consistent cost figures for the same processes is presented as prepared by Lewin and Assocs. from preceding 1979 prepared by Lewin and Assocs. from preceding 1979 figures. Major cost components are given. A brief review of two advanced coal conversion methods for producing light synthetic crudes is given - i.e., the Exxon Donor Solvent (EDS) and Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining Co. processes Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining Co. processes (SRC-II) since recent good-quality economic estimates are available on a reasonably comparable basis within the U.S. DOE. A less-refined comparison by Engineering Socs. Commission on Energy (ESCOE) is discussed. Shale oil presents the same problems with respect to firm process data for commercial-scale operations; two sources are reviewed.
By definition, EOR means the additional recovery of liquid hydrocarbons from known oil or tar sands reservoirs not technically or economically feasible by conventional methods. The U.S. target is large and tantalizing. It totals about 300 Bbbl (47.7 x 109 m3) left after recovering one-third of the original oil in place (OOIP) [roughly 450 Bbbl (76.0 x 109 m3)]. place (OOIP) [roughly 450 Bbbl (76.0 x 109 m3)]. This means that the decline in U.S. oil production (barring major new finds) may be arrested by EOR. A major company forecast is that the demand-supply balance for liquid hydrocarbons will be essentially flat through 1990 for the U.S. EOR is not a mature science. It requires the injection of fluids and/or energy into known oil sands to produce additional oil. The added increment may be tertiary, but may be primary or secondary, depending on the reservoir and the contained oil.
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