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Polymer flooding achieves breakthrough results in China

31st July 2012

A technique used during a pilot project aimed at solving technical problems occurring in drilling and production could bolster oil recovery by up to 12.1 per cent

Data showed that the oil-recovery rate in a Chinese testing block was raised by 10.3 per cent and would be further lifted by up to 12.1 per cent due to polymer flooding technology

A “breakthrough” in the application of a key technique used to boost oil production - polymer flooding in conglomerate layers – was achieved during a pilot project, Chinese energy giant, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) announced this week.

A pilot project on obtaining oil from complex geological structures achieved “satisfactory results” in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, said China’s largest oil and gas producer.

Data showed that the oil-recovery rate in the testing block was raised by 10.3 per cent and would be further lifted by up to 12.1 per cent. The addition of a water-soluble polymer makes water more viscous so it displaces oil more effectively from the reservoir rock, resulting in increased oil recovery from operations.

The oil giant now plans to expand the test zone and strengthen efforts to develop Dzungarian Basin, China's major oil and gas reservoir with an estimated 8.6 bn tonnes of crude oil reserves and 2.1 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves.

The pilot project, initiated in 2005, aimed at solving technical problems occurring in drilling and production, and researchers have patented four technical inventions so far in the experiments, according to the CNPC.

Xinjiang is CNPC's major focus for oil and gas exploitation, as the energy-rich region accounts for over one-quarter of China's total onshore reserves

 

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