Maha has assembled a team of industry experts with individual expertise to build a solid foundation of production assets and an objective to grow through petroleum engineering and near field exploration technologies. The primary focus is to implement state-of-the-art Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies to existing and maturing oil fields.
Crude oil development and production in oil reservoirs can include up to three distinct recovery phases – primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery. Primary recovery is also known as ‘natural depletion’, whereas secondary and tertiary recovery technologies are known as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Secondary and tertiary recovery is implemented when primary conventional recovery methods are no longer able to produce the remaining oil. Some estimates indicate EOR technologies can improve the ultimate recovery factor of an oil field to 30%-60%, or more, of the original oil in place. The International Energy Agency (IEA), estimates the systematic application of all available EOR technologies across the globe could in theory unlock approximately 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The IEA further estimates around 375 EOR projects are operating globally and producing just over 2 million barrels a day of oil. In Oman, EOR remains a strategic option for increased oil recovery and long term production requirements.
The Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI) at the University of Wyoming states:
“In developing the most complete Wyoming EOR-specific dataset that exists, EORI has estimated that additional recovery of oil from the state’s depleted oil fields using advanced EOR technology could total more than 1 billion barrels of additional production over the next 20 years. In 2009 approximately 51.3 million barrels of oil were produced in Wyoming. About 12 percent, or 6 million barrels, of that oil was produced from EOR projects.”
There are many technologies available to the Petroleum Engineer that can be applied to an aging reservoir. Gas Injection, Miscible Solvents, Surfactant Flooding, Polymer Flooding, Microbial Injection, CO2 Flooding, and Thermal methods (steam and fire flooding) are some of the prominent examples. Perhaps the most effective and proven EOR technology for heavy oil reservoirs is the addition of heat.
“Thermal recovery methods are based on adding heat to the oil, mainly to decrease its viscosity. In this way, the mobility ratio between oil and the displacing fluids become more favorable. The most common thermal methods are steam flooding and steam cycling. These techniques experienced enormous development in the past few decades and have grown to be the largest contributor to oil output by EOR. They are effective for the oil viscosity range between 100 and 100,000 cp.”
- P.Zitha, R. Felder, D. Zornes, K. Brown and K. Mohanty "Increasing Hydrocarbon Recovery Factors"