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NETL Aids EOR Efforts with Release of Historic Archives

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Source: NETL
Article Type: Cited

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released two DVDs of historic research information that will aid companies in recovering oil left behind in older oil fields. This bypassed oil was previously too uneconomical to pursue; today, however, the limited availability of new places to drill—and the expectation of continued high prices for oil—is greatly increasing interest in finding and producing oil that can still be found in mature fields.

The DVDs document over three decades of DOE-funded projects and research in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and reservoir characterization, and together they include more than 1,250 reports, papers, newsletters, and background documents. Their publication is designed to help companies and researchers recover left-behind reserves and avoid duplication of past research and development efforts by making available the data and insights gained in projects over the past 30 years.

The DVDs encapsulate the experience of a total of 322 research, development, and demonstration projects of the Office of Fossil Energy EOR program. The program made EOR data from these projects publicly available at a time when only major oil companies had access to this kind of information. Some of the more important contributions of the program featured on the DVDs consist of:
1. An early and improved understanding of the use of carbon dioxide for EOR;
2. Advances in steamflooding;
3. Major contributions to the development of polymer gel systems - used today commercially to improve sweep efficiency.
4. Demonstration of one of the earliest efforts to apply microbial EOR;
5. Early efforts to increase the use of reservoir simulation by both large and small operators.

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