Deep Steam

I wrote earlier about why 3,000' is the conventional limit for steam floods and this is a follow up note exploring some ways that we could increase that limit. It has some significance. For the UK sector of the North Sea at least, we have estimated that, if you could push the limit down to 4,500', the incremental recovery possible could be more than 2 billion barrels of oil. Almost as much oil as in Johan Sverdrup, if that isn't worth thinking about what is?

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Steam and Solvent – Better Together

Steam injection has a pretty remarkable ability to drive out almost all of the heavy oil from highly permeable reservoirs but it is costly to generate and there is a lot to be gained if you could improve the overall efficiency of the process. The inventor of the SAGD process, Roger Butler, also invented another process which uses solvents instead of steam to mobilise the heavy oil. That process is called VAPEX and involves the injection of a hydrocarbon solvent, such as propane, butane or naphtha

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The Best Time for EOR is Before You Produce a Drop of Oil

The sad truth of working in oil companies is that being assigned to work on enhanced oil recovery ("EOR") projects is sometimes considered career death. All the glamour jobs are on the big discoveries, putting in place billions of dollars of plant and equipment and bringing on hundreds of thousands of barrels per day of production. EOR is thought about as fields decline and managers are looking for some way to stave off decommissioning or being assigned to the "Acquisitions and Disposals" basket.

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