Enhanced Oil Recovery

Developing and deploying low-cost, step-change technologies to improve the recovery of hydrocarbons

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Enhanced oil recovery technologies

“We have probably reached a point globally when the potential for Enhanced Recovery from known hydrocarbon resources exceeds the potential from new discoveries (such as from arctic or ultra-deepwater).”

This statement from David Eyton, BP’s Group Head of Technology, puts Enhanced Oil Recovery  (EOR) firmly in the spotlight with expectations to deliver.  BP delivers more conventional oil with EOR technology than any other International Oil Company (IOC) – more than 10% of the world’s total.

How much oil can be recovered from a field (its recovery factor) depends on four fractions, each multiplied one another.  The fractions with the most potential to increase are:

Pore-scale Displacement (how much oil is displaced from rock reached by the water or gas injected); and 

Sweep (how effectively does the injected fluid spread out from the injection well and reach all of the rock between the injector and producer wells.)
So these are the areas of focus for BP’s EOR technology development. 

Our EOR Technologies divide into two types - Designer Water® EOR and Designer Gas®

Designer Water® EOR technologies are being studied for their potential in ACG:
  • Bright Water™: Submicron, thermally activated particles that expand deep in the reservoir reducing the flow in thief zones and diverting injection water into poorly swept areas of the reservoir. A pilot programme of Bright Water™ treatments has begun at ACG, with 11 injector wells have been treated. Evaluation of its impact is ongoing
  • LoSal® EOR: A breakthrough reduced salinity waterflooding technology that can significantly increase recovery compared to conventional waterflooding. Under investigation for ACG.