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DW: IOR and EOR technologies key to future

18th November 2013

Necessity and low recovery rates pave way for IOR and EOR techniques to reach unrecoverable reserves

DW: IOR and EOR technologies key to future
ERD may facilitate the development of additional reserves from existing fields

Average oil recovery rates of approximately 30 per cent and rising costs across the industry have provided a strong stimulus for the development of techniques to improve oil recovery, a recent report by energy research group Douglas Westwood said, highlighting that these will prove crucial to unlock currently unrecoverable reserves.


Reservoir monitoring, development drilling campaigns and management of producing wells are but some of the new technologies and services launched in the fields of improved oil recovery (IOR) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR).


Combining well-logging and 4D seismic, which collects a series of 3D images to monitor the migration of reservoir fluids over time, is allowing the design of more effective recovery strategies.


The evolution of extended reach drilling (ERD) has enabled deeper drilling and may facilitate the economic development of additional reserves from existing fields.


Well completion designs allow operators to collect pressure and temperature data in real-time and isolate unproductive zones, leading to a much more “intelligent” production well. Well integrity solutions such as gas tight metal-to-metal casing patches are proving especially suitable for subsea wells with integrity issues.


Technologies in the operators’ IOR tool-kit also include low salinity water-flooding, which Shell estimates could increase oil recovery by 5-10 per cent in some Gulf of Mexico fields.



Despite a reputation for conservatism, as with any other sector of the economy, necessity is proving to be the mother of invention in the oil and gas industry, Douglas Westwood said.

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