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Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)

JAN 2015
Dr. Mohammed Abdalla Ayoub
Introduction to EOR Processes
Section 1-1

Class Outlines
Learning Objectives and outcomes
At the end of this class, students should be able to:
1. Get familiarized with EOR Processes.
2. Understand the general rules for each EOR methods.
3. Understand the key differences between IOR/WF and EOR.

4. Get aware about the used terminologies.

Future Global Energy Demand

Extracted from IEA analysis 2011

World Primary Energy Demand By Fuel and Scenario


Extracted from IEA analysis 2011

Future Energy Consumption

Oil: transportation
Coal: china and India growth
Gas: Electra and heating

Tumbling Oil Price

geopolitical upsets
Crude oil prices
determined by:
i. actual supply and
demand, and
ii. partly by

Current Scenario

*As of 5/1/2015

Shale oil and shale

gas potential
Gas and oil trapped in their
source rock.

Mainly in USA.
hard reservoirs ~0.001 mD
Seen as unproducible
previously (used vert. wells)
Environmental concerns of
Review SPE 147226

Oil Recovery Methods

Need details !!!

Less Details !!!

Easy way !
Enhanced oil recovery processes include all methods
that use external sources of energy and/or materials
to recover oil that cannot be produced economically
by conventional means.

These recovery processes can be broadly classified as

given in the following:
Thermal: steam flooding, hot water flooding, and insitu combustion.
Non-thermal: chemical flood, miscible flood, and gas

Primary Oil Recovery Mechanisms

The natural driving mechanisms of primary recovery
are outlined as follows:
Rock and liquid expansion drive
Depletion drive
Gas cap drive
Water drive
Gravity drainage drive
Combination drive
The most common primary oil recovery factors range
from 20% and 40%, with an average around 34%,while
the remainder of hydrocarbon is left behind in the

Supplementary or secondary
hydrocarbon recovery
Secondary hydrocarbon (oil and/or gas) involves the
introduction of artificial energy into the reservoir via one
wellbore and production of oil and/or gas from another
Usually secondary recovery include the immiscible
processes of waterflooding and gas injection or gaswater combination floods, known as water alternating gas
injection (WAG), where slugs of water and gas are
injected sequentially.
Simultaneous injection of water and gas (SWAG) is also
practiced, however the most common fluid injected is
water because of its availability, low cost, and high
specific gravity which facilitates injection.

Waterflood Process
is implemented by injecting water into a set of
wells while producing from the surrounding
implemented to accomplish any of the
following objectives or a combination of them:
Reservoir pressure maintenance.
Dispose of brine water and/or produced
formation water.
As a water drive to displace oil from the
injector wells to the producer wells.

Reasons for the success of

Reasons for the success of waterflooding include
the following:
Water is an efficient agent for displacing oil of
light to medium gravity.
Water is relatively easy to inject into oilbearing formations.
Water is generally available and inexpensive.
Waterflooding involves relatively lower capital
investment and operating costs, leading to
favorable economics

Well Flooding Arrangements

Waterflooding is generally implemented
by following various types of well
flooding arrangements such as:
pattern flooding, peripheral flooding,
and crestal flooding, among others.

Pattern flooding is used in

reservoirs having a small dip
(not flat-lying reservoirs) and
a large surface area.
Economic factors are the main
criteria for the selection of a
these factors include:
The cost of drilling new wells,
the cost of switching existing
wells to a different type, and
the loss of revenue from the
production when making a
switch from a producer to an

Geometry of common regular pattern

floods (Craft & Hawkins, 1991)

in center of the
pattern, surrounded by the
injector wells.

Change of plans
In this figure,
Waterflood operation
was initiated using an
inverted 9-spot pattern
that was gradually
transformed to a
regular 5-spot pattern
at later stages of
waterflooding through
well conversion and
infill drilling
Modifications of the injector/producer pattern and well spacing over the life
of a waterflooding project to optimize the recovery of oil: (a) Early stage
and (b) Late stage (Satter et al., 2008).

Peripheral Waterflooding
The injector wells are placed
down dip to take advantage of
gravity segregation, thus the
injected water either enters the
aquifer or enters near the aquiferreservoir interface.

Anticlinal reservoir
The injected water either enters the
aquifer or is near the aquiferreservoir interface displacing oil
towards the producer wells located
at the upper part of the reservoir.

Monoclinal reservoir

Lesson Outcomes (Next class)

To explain the principles of immiscible and miscible fluid displacement.

To better describe the fluid Movement in Waterflooded Reservoirs, the

displacement mechanism are to be explained.

To introduce fundamental concepts of EOR processes using simple

mathematical models that retain important features of more complex

To describe the frontal-advance theory (Buckley Leverett).

To understand the mathematical relationships that relate Welge analysis
approach and recovery calculations.
To apply the concepts on immiscible water drive and gas cycling operations.
To understand factors to consider in Waterflooding

Immiscible Displacement
water displacing oil or gas displaces oil.
Objective: to understand the mechanisms rather than
blindly using the black box.
Revision of these properties: rock wettability,
capillary pressure, relative permeability, mobility and
mobility ratio, fluid displacement.
efficiency, volumetric displacement efficiency, and
total recovery efficiency.
Useful texts; Enhanced Oil Recovery by Don W. Green &
G. Paul Willhite

Drive mechanisms are means of providing energy to

move hydrocarbon from reservoirs.

There are drive mechanisms that involve the immiscible

displacement of oil
Immiscible displacement means that there is no mixing
of injected and displaced phases at the pore level (through
mass transfer of components)

Natural water drive gives highest recovery factor therefore water
drive by injection is the most common method of secondary
Nowadays, water drive system is modelled using numerical
reservoir simulation to understand its displacement behavior and
the recovery of oil.

We want to understand the important properties and analytical

techniques used to predict behavior of immiscible displacement