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Exploration and Production (E&P) Technology in the
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry
"Squeezing the Sponge"
- In all oil fields, oil is left behind after primary (oil
production using reservoir energy) and secondary (oil displacement
with water) operations.
- The amount of remaining oil ranges from 30% to 90%
- The industry has long attempted to access these large, residual
volumes. However, to do so requires changing the properties of
- The primary methods of doing this are:
- Thermal: add heat to oil to make it less viscous, so
it flows easier through the rock pore spaces.
- Hydrocarbon injection: the injectant either acts like
a solvent and "dissolves" the oil, or combines with the oil in
such a way to make it flow easier.
- CO2 flooding: this works by either displacing oil or
combining with it in such a way to make it flow easier.
- Chemical Flooding: the recovery enhancement mechanisms are
similar to CO2 in that the slug of chemically treated water,
either acts like a piston and pushes oil ahead of it as it moves
through the formations, or it combines with the oil to
chemically alter it to make it flow easier.