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Oil Recovery Mining Method and Apparatus

Norman C. Smith, Maynard F. Ayler

Successful oil mining requires a producing zone of reasonable thickness. Competence of rock types underlying the reservoir will determine depth limits.

Successful oil mining will make full use of all primary and secondary drive systems as well as gravity, to recover the 50% or more of the original oil usually left in depleted reservoirs, or to produce from virgin reservoirs.

Careful geologic mapping of jointing and faulting within mine workings should permit a much better understanding of the fracture geology of the reservoir, which in turn should permit better placing of drill holes for optimum production, particularly in limestone reservoirs.

A mine plan should provide for simultaneous mine development, well development, oil production, and utilization of secondary drive systems, for either a new or depleted reservoir. The system also should provide safety for all underground personnel.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.