Abstract: Methods for Recovery of More Oil from Known Fields
Ted M. Geffen
A substantial amount of oil, not recoverable by conventional means, might be captured by the use of improved methods. The actual amount of reserves and the time of their production will depend on technologic advancements and the economic environment.
Many recovery methods have been developed during the last quarter century by petroleum industry research. Their broad economic and technical viability is still to be demonstrated. The improved methods involve exercising control, through chemical and/or physical means, over the viscous, gravitational, and capillary forces which act to retain the oil in the reservoir-rock pore spaces.
The so-called miscible and thermal methods are considered to offer more significant opportunities for increasing oil-recovery efficiency and production rate. Characteristically, they are financially heavily front-loaded and present levels of investment and technical risk higher than for conventional operations. Limited supplies of needed chemicals and hardware add to the time-delay possibility of the methods becoming widely used.
Currently the petroleum industry is intensifying research. Substantial progress is being made on the chemistry and physics aspects. Field experience has demonstrated that a key factor in effective use of improved methods is the nature of the spatial variation of reservoir-rock properties. Thus a critically important contribution to the successful commercial development of improved methods can be made by exploitation geologists in developing detailed petrophysical descriptions of reservoirs.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90968©1977 AAPG-SEPM Annual Convention and Exhibition, Washington, DC