Chevron and UT Austin Form Alliance for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Chevron Corporation has formed a research alliance with The University of Texas at Austin to develop new technologies to increase the amount of oil recovered from mature and challenging reservoirs.

Under the alliance, Chevron Energy Technology Company, a Chevron subsidiary, will provide up to $5 million over the next five years to The University of Texas at Austin's Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. The joint research initiative will focus on non-thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies, including surfactants and polymers that target oil trapped and bypassed by conventional recovery methods, and numerical models that accurately simulate enhanced oil recovery processes.

"Conventional production methods have typically recovered about one-third of the oil in place from light oil reservoirs, so applying advanced technologies to increase recovery factors can be an important source of reserve and production growth from existing fields," said Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation. "This alliance will bring together Chevron's historical leadership in EOR and the world-class petroleum research capabilities of The University of Texas to create the next generation of enhanced recovery technologies and open up new opportunities to add reserves and production."

"Most oil in existing fields cannot be recovered using conventional technology, yet the volume of this oil is greater than all the conventional oil reserves known to exist globally," said Dr. Larry W. Lake, chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering within the university's College of Engineering.

"This funding will allow the center to greatly expand its oil recovery research and play an important role in helping meet global energy needs," added Dr. Gary A. Pope, director of the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, which has the leading national academic research program in enhanced oil recovery.

Dr. Jairam Kamath, Chevron team leader of Well Performance and Recovery Mechanisms, said through the alliance Chevron is providing the university with long-term research and development funding, increasing its access to economically important challenges, and expanding the nation's future work force.