ONGC Launches MEOR Technology

ONGC has formally launched the new 'Microbial Enhancing Oil Recovery (MEOR)' technology, designed to explore "maximum oil by minimizing cost", at its Sobhasan 36 oil well in Mehsana asset in Gujarat.

It is for the first time that the "cutting edge" technology, which involves "high temperature sustaining microbes" that survive in temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius developed by scientists at IRS, ONGC CMD Subir Raha said on Thursday.

"Earlier, the microbes could survive at a temperature of maximum 65 degrees but our scientists have developed microbes, which can sustain up to 90 degrees. There are many of our wells which have temperatures more than 90 degrees", he said.

"We will be putting MEOR into use in our Assam wells next, where the oil gets thick in winter", Raha said, adding MEOR technology would be useful in 'improving exploration' in the company's ageing and depleting wells.

Most of the oil wells in three assets, Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Ankleshwar are depleting even as some new structures have been found in Ankleshwar, the CMD added.

Raha said, manufacturing cost was reduced by three to six dollars per barrel during trials and added that output also increased by 10,000 barrels through the use of the technology.

The technique, jointly developed by scientists at Institute for Reservoir Studies (IRS) and Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) is also called 'huff and puff'.

"In fact several oil companies of middle-east, US and others are in touch with TERI for using this technology", Raha added.

ONGC and TERI have obtained a patent for using this technology in India about four months back, officials said.