Gulf Players Embrace EOR While Tightening Grip On Costs


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Archived, originally published in By Mark Thomas, Editor-in-Chief      Tuesday, December 1, 2015


......... Enhanced Recovery Focus

The region's interest in enhanced recovery technologies continues to be one of the main emerging themes generating fresh activity. The latest example of this came from ADNOC and Germany's Wintershall, which confirmed at ADIPEC that they had signed a memorandum of understanding regarding future cooperation in R&D activities.

This will specifically focus on EOR using specialized chemicals, or “cEOR,” as they dubbed it, with the aim of jointly developing solutions to meet typical subsurface challenges presented by the emirate's oil fields—high temperature and high salinity in carbonate reservoirs.

A pilot test is in the pipeline, said the companies, with the memorandum of understanding's aim being to help Abu Dhabi on its way toward its publicly stated eventual target of 70% ultimate recovery from its fields.

Another EOR project taking place in Saudi Arabia is the kingdom's first carbon capture and storage pilot project, underway on the world's biggest oil field, Ghawar. If successful, according to oil minister Ali al-Naimi, it could boost recovery rates by up to 20%.

Ghawar, which has been pumping crude since 1951, incredibly still produces more than 5 MMbbl/d of oil as well as 70.7 MMcm/d (2.5 Bcf/d) of gas. Saudi Aramco's carbon project got underway earlier this year after first being hatched in 2011. About 1.1 MMcm/d (40 MMcf/d) of CO2 will be captured at the Hawiyah gas recovery plant and piped to the Uthmaniyah area for injection into the oil reservoirs. The aim once more is to raise the field's recovery factor from its current given figure of 50% to 70%, which on a field of Ghawar's scale is a huge increase in recoverable reserves. It currently has estimated remaining proven oil reserves of 75 Bbbl, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

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