NIOC to Increase Oil Extraction via EOR

NIOC to Increase  Oil Extraction via EORNIOC to Increase  Oil Extraction via EOR

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) aims, for the first time, to inject carbon dioxide into oil reservoirs to increase extraction, research and technology director of NIOC said, Shana reported.

Mohammad Ali Emadi said, "Implementation of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods in the oil fields has been on the NIOC agenda for years. The operation is expected to be carried out in Ramin oil field in Khuzestan Province in the near future."

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) -also called improved oil recovery or tertiary recovery- is a term applied to techniques that increase the amount of crude oil extracted from an oil field. In the pilot phase of the project, CO2 will be obtained from Ramin power plant, and after processing and refinement, injected into the Ramin oilfield.

Emadi described the project as 'economical' and stressed that the injection of CO2 would improve the extraction rate by 16-80 percent. EOR methods have been successfully implemented in close to 80 projects around the world, resulting in the extraction of 300,000 more barrels of oil per day on average, according to Emadi.

In 2013, the Norwegian oil and gas giant, Statoil, announced it has more than doubled the reserves at its Oseberg field, off Norway, through enhanced recovery efforts. The company managed to boost recovery in the main reservoir to 2.6 from 1.1 billion barrels of oil via the injection method. The global average recovery factor for a typical oilfield is approximately 40 percent. Using EOR, 30 to 60 percent or more of the reservoir's original oil can be extracted, compared with 20 to 40 percent using primary and secondary recovery.

There currently are several different methods of enhanced oil recovery including steam flood and water flood injection and hydraulic fracturing as well as CO2 injection.

Emadi highlighted Hungary as one of the leading countries in EOR and said the Central European nation has traditionally used CO2 injection to increase extraction in the past 50 years. CO2 injection is not without its problems. It is costlier than gas injection, and separation of CO2 from oil can be complicated. However, CO2 injection has proved to be an economical method because it "significantly increases extraction," according to Emadi.