The goal of this project is to design efficient chemical flooding processes that are necessary for independent oil producers to make an informed assessment for implementation of a pilot or demonstration project.
University of Kansas Center for Research, Lawrence, Kan.
Nine independent oil companies that produce oil from ten Kansas fields are providing data and samples from their leases. The companies are Berexco Inc., Cimarex Energy Company, Colt Energy Inc., Merit Energy Company, Murfin Drilling Co. Inc., Oxy USA Inc., PetroSantander (USA) Inc., Vess Oil Corporation, and Stelbar Oil Corporation Inc.
Despite their potential for increasing incremental oil recovery, chemical flooding applications are severely limited in the U.S. In the Oil & Gas Journal biennial survey of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects, there were no chemical EOR project operators reporting production for 2008, compared to a combined total chemical EOR production of about 22,500 b/d in 1988. Uncertainty over the most suitable design and application of chemical floods with respect to specific reservoirs, coupled with the high up-front costs of chemical injectants, has limited the implementation of this promising technology.
Recent advances in chemical development and modeling increase the potential to recover vast amounts of residual oil left behind after primary recovery and waterflooding processes. In addition to increasing the amount of oil that can be recovered from a given field, these advances also increase the number of fields to which these processes are applicable.
EOR currently provides about 13% of domestic oil production and is becoming increasingly important for sustaining U.S. oil output as the nation’s oil fields continue to age and onshore oil production declines. Widespread implementation and acceptance of new chemical flooding technologies could significantly bolster U.S. EOR production, increase ultimate recovery, and help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Operator interest is a significant barrier to the widespread application of chemical flooding. Design ‘templates” of chemical floods provide the basis for demonstration projects and a starting point for independent oil operators to assess the potential for implementing new chemical flooding technology. Government-sponsored field projects that demonstrate the benefits of new technologies to independent oil producers can be used to promote and advance their widespread implementation.
This research project, in conjunction with subsequent successful field demonstration projects, could greatly increase the interest of oil operators in pursuing and implementing chemical flooding applications. Successful field demonstration projects increase the comfort level of independent producers when they are considering implementing new technology. The proposed work will provide the design templates required to demonstrate chemical flooding processes. The researchers will follow through by supporting and assisting independent producers with field implementation.
This project is completed and the final report is available below under "Additional Information".
Final Project Report [PDF-21MB]