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Enhanced Oil Recovery, 2nd Edition



Enhanced oil recovery (EOR), also referred to as improved oil recovery or tertiary oil recovery, is most often achieved by injecting a liquid or gas into an oil reservoir, thereby lowering oil viscosity and increasing the amount of oil available for production. Some of the more common EOR methods include gas EOR (mostly CO-2 EOR), thermal EOR and chemical EOR. Microbial EOR and seismic EOR also hold small, but strong niches in the EOR market. While only about 10% - 30% of oil is typically extracted from a well by conventional oil production processes, EOR methods can enhance these recovery rates by an additional 5% to 20% (on a conservative average).

The global market for EOR, estimated at more than $126.02 billion in 2011, has shown exciting growth since 2007, when the market totaled $54.96 billion. Technological challenges, hazy regulations, and high implementation costs have often been inhibitory to EOR projects, although this is quickly changing. Government interest and generous investments are helping to spur new developments in technology and also to increase the availability of necessary materials (such as CO-2). SBI Energy expects the EOR industry will continue to flourish in light of these types of developments and that many individuals involved in the EOR business will enjoy exponential growth in the near future.

A large number of oil fields around the globe are maturing and are producing less oil – those affected are looking to EOR to increase, or at least maintain, their oil production levels. Many countries rely heavily on oil production for their financial health, and are becoming increasingly willing to invest in EOR, especially as the group of successful EOR projects grows and as the high price of oil continues to support research and development schemes.

Around the world, the EOR market is growing and metamorphosing to fit the various regions in which it resides. EOR market growth depends largely on regional factors, such as the health of the local economy; the level of foreign investment; existing politics and policies that may hinder or spur market growth; available technological knowledge and expertise; the type of oil being produced, the geographical location of oil fields and the geology of oil reservoirs; as well as regional oil supply and oil demand. A plethora of technologies and processes are emerging and becoming available that are fulfilling these regional niches and easing EOR production for many oil operators.

Many regions are jumping, or at least easing, into the world of EOR. The Middle East previously did not have much of a need for EOR; oil was plentiful and lower oil prices did not encourage seemingly un-needed experimentation. This is quickly changing; however. Many oil fields in the Middle East are maturing and are producing less oil; other fields in the region are nearing their peak oil production limits and their operators are proactively looking to EOR to maintain steady production in the future. SBI Energy considers the Middle East will whole heartedly be immersing itself in the EOR scene by 2021, with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Oman leading the way.


Table of Contents :


Chapter 1: Executive Summary

Report Scope

Report Methodology


Thermal Recovery

Gas/CO-2 EOR

Chemical Injection

‘Other’ Methods

Market Size and Growth

EOR Value Worldwide Exceeds $126 Billion in 2011

Figure 1-1 Total EOR Market Production Value Worldwide In Million Dollars

Figure 1-2 Total EOR Production Volume Worldwide In Million Barrels (2007 – 2011)

EOR Market Value Projected to catapult into 2021

Figure 1-3 Projected EOR Production Value Worldwide In Million Dollars (2011 – 2021)

Figure 1-4 Projected EOR Volume Worldwide In Barrels (2011 – 2021)

Gas/CO2 Injection EOR Holds its Own in EOR Market

Figure 1-5 Worldwide Gas/CO-2 EOR Production Value In Million Dollars (2007 – 2011)

Figure 1-6 Worldwide Gas/CO-2 EOR Production Volume In Million Barrels (2007 – 2011)

Gas/CO2 EOR Segment Nears 7.6 Billion Barrels in 2021

Figure 1-7 Worldwide Gas/CO-2 EOR Production Value Projections, In Million Dollars (2011 – 2021)

Figure 1-8 Worldwide Gas/CO-2 EOR Production Volume Projections, In Million Barrels (2011 – 2021)

China Dominates EOR

Figure 1-9 China’s EOR Market In Million Dollars (2007-2021)

Figure 1-10 China’s EOR Market In Million Barrels (2007-2021)

United States Holds its Own in EOR World

Figure 1-11 United States’ EOR Market In Million Dollars (2007-2021)

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