Enhanced Oil Recovery: Can Chemical EOR Take Off?



In Canada, CNRL and Cenovus both operate commercial-scale projects in Pelican Lake, both of which have been in operation for more than nine years. These projects are unusual within the chemical EOR market in that they take place in a 14-degree API heavy oil field. In addition, Canada has 15 currently-active pilot projects, predominately located in Alberta.

Oman is embracing chemical methods as part of its EOR portfolio encompassing all three types of EOR technique. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) commissioned the development of a polymer flooding project at the Marmul field in 2010 and has plans for expansion in two phases. The company operates three further active chemical EOR pilots and has several other prospective projects on the horizon.

Other countries with ambitious plans for chemical EOR development include India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Russia.

Chemical EOR: Potential is Vast

In terms of current spending and production figures, chemical EOR will remain the smallest segment of the EOR market for the immediate future. Yet the potential for chemical EOR development is vast in terms of both size and regional scope. Chemical EOR already surpasses both thermal and gas EOR methods in terms of the number of countries with active projects (14), while double-digit spending growth is anticipated over the next five years as pilot projects are set up and expanded. As such, chemical EOR is set to emerge from the shadow of its rival EOR methods to become an important technology on the global scale. 

Matthew Jones is Energy Reports Manager at Visiongain where he writes and edits in-depth reports analyzing a wide variety of segments within the global energy industry.

Laura McIntyre is an Energy Industry Analyst at Visiongain. Her focus is primarily on offshore oil & gas developments and EOR.


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