Initial oil saturation
Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and CO2 Solutions at Heriot-Watt University is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for developing new and improved EOR technologies for application in conventional and heavy oil reservoirs across the world.
Research into carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR) has been included in two articles in the October issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT), p.36-39, p.44-46.
- Heriot-Watt University is the only European university to be included in these articles.
- JPT is read by Industry professionals around the world.
The Centre has received support from both the industry and government to investigate how CO2 injection should be utilised for oil recovery and during sequestration to support investment decisions at the field-scale.
Professor Mehran Sohrabi is theme lead on Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. His is also the Director of the Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions.
Rising oil costs
With rising oil costs industry is looking to find ways of making oil extraction more efficient and economical. Industry is also trying to find ways of extracting the oil left in reservoirs which were previously too difficult or expensive to get at.
Experimental research at Heriot-Watt
CO2 or any gas is a lot more mobile. It snakes through the reservoir, increasing the chance of premature break-through", said Mehran Sohrabi, a professor at Heriot-Watt UniversityProf. Mehran Sohrabi, Director, Centre for Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions
Prof. Sohrabi's team conduct tests which gauge the effectiveness of CO2 foam at different reservoir conditions at pore scale and core scale and different grades of crude oil.
He says "CO2 or any gas is a lot more mobile. It snakes through the reservoir, increasing the chance of premature break-through". With the major aim of an oilfield development being increasing sweep efficiency and recovery, we have found CO2-foam injection to significantly improve the recovery of medium-heavy oil.
Results have demonstrated that:
foams stand up better to higher saturations of viscous crudes and in largely depleted reservoirs foam can extract oil which other methods are unable to do.
CO2 foam is twice as effective at clearing out crude oil in porous rock as a water and CO2 gas solution.