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Mature Fields: Key Factors for Successful EOR Projects

San Martin, Hector F.1 and Ortiz, Raul
1[email protected]

Notwithstanding the recent advances in geological, reservoir and production technologies as well as the significant ramp up in oil prices over the last decade, the Ultimate Recovery in producing reservoirs around the world averages between 30-40%. In our opinion, reasons for the low recovery factor are the relatively low number of EOR projects worldwide where such technologies are applied. It is estimated that total worldwide production coming from EOR projects is around 1 million barrels of oil per day, which represents less than 1% of total world production.

This paper reviews various EOR methods but it focuses largely on CO2 injection and steam flooding as these are the most successful methods from the production point of view.

It is the author’s opinion that some of the key factors, both technical and economical which contribute the most to the success of EOR projects are the following:

1. Proper reservoir suitability, primarily volumetric sweep efficiency.

2. The need of an upgraded or in some cases a new reservoir geological model.

3. Plentiful and inexpensive injection fluids.

4. Optimum monitoring of pilot and field wide expansion project.

5. Strategic technology approach.

6. Continuous profitability management.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013