A month or so ago I posted an article on Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques and it proved to be a popular topic, so much so that we decided our good friend Bill Roth could make a useful infographic to better illustrate the concepts (check out Bill’s previous infographic for The Big Crew Change). I hope you all enjoy the infographic below, and share it with your friends!
Other Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques
Since the first post was designed to be an overview of the common technologies and techniques involved in EOR, I didn’t get a chance to go into some of the current exciting oilfield innovations happening now.
Almost immediately after publishing the original post, the fine folks at Glasspoint reached out to me and encouraged me to explore some of the advances they are making in the area of solar EOR. Adding steam into your flooding plan has multiple benefits – increasing pressure, and decreasing the viscosity of the available hydrocarbons. Glasspoint has developed a system for harnessing solar power to create the steam necessary for thermal injection. Their system reduces on-field gas consumption and CO2 creation by 80%, and has been engineered for the rugged environmental conditions present in most oilfields.
Waterless FrackingDI Blog reader Coffeeguyzz posted a comment on the original post that in part read, “Praxair’s recent entry into the waterless frac’ing field with liquefied/gelled CO2 could be a game changer IF it works out.”
One of the huge advantages of using CO2 for EOR is that CO2 from enhancement operations can actually be reclaimed and used again, and by chilling CO2 to a super-critical phase you can use it not only in a miscible medium to push hydrocarbons, but as an agent for hydraulic fracturing. This would take strain off of obtaining freshwater for fracking, but also, as mentioned in the first post, can remove a substantial amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and return it underground.
With the relatively expensive drilling and completions and steep decline curves associated with hydraulic fracturing, some operators are exploring re-fracking as a method of enhancing the output of wells that have tapered off. Refracking works pretty much the way it sounds – you take an existing well and re-frack it with a new stimulation plan, saving drilling costs and providing more production. In a more excited market investors tend to respond to new wells and big IPs, but in the world of $50 oil we might see some operators seeking the incremental gains provided by refracking.
Enhanced Oil Recovery in the News
The past few weeks we see that media and investors have been paying close attention to EOR results.
- From Forbes we have NRG’s $1B Bet To Show How Carbon Capture Could Be Feasible For Coal Power Plants which discusses harnessing CO2 from coal power plants and shipping it Jackson County, Texas for EOR.
- From The Bakken Magazine we see Magellan issues Montana CO2 EOR update where they discuss a 5-month injection project above the Middle Bakken formation (results are promising).
- SeekingAlpha has Occidental Petroleum Escaping The Oil Price Black Hole which discusses the strategic importance of low-cost EOR operations in the Permian for the Oxy’s bottom line.
- Bloomberg tells us how Drillers Take Second Crack at Fracking Old Wells to Cut Cost and talk about the 50,000 or so U.S. candidates for the procedure.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
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