Home / Economics / The Coming Boom in Enhanced Oil Recovery

The Coming Boom in Enhanced Oil Recovery

While a cult of Peak Oil adherents fret about the end of the hydrocarbon age, we’ve been focusing on trends that will provide buffering to the upcoming declines in oil production. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Peak Oil won’t happen, however the dreaded peak may turn into a downward sloping plateau supported by higher prices. This high price plateau should buy the planet enough time to start thinking about conservation and using alternate energy sources.

One little known fact about the oil business is that the majority of the oil discovered to date will never be produced. Engineers use the term “recovery factor” to describe what percentage of the “original oil in place” or OOIP will be produced. In the United States it is estimated that 66% of the oil discovered to date or the OOIP is left in the ground.

State oil companies control approximately 80% of the world’s oil reserves. The vast majority of these countries are not friendly towards the United States.

The discovery of giant oilfields today is hampered by the fact that giant oilfields are the ones that are discovered first in an exploration cycle. The longer we look for them the less likely we are to find them. Giant fields are usually discovered first.

Matthew Simmons has pointed out that as much as 70% of our daily oil supply comes from oilfields that were discovered prior to 1970.

Of course new technology can increase the size of the discovery universe by allowing drilling in increasingly hostile conditions. For example, 75% of Brazil’s oil reserves are under at least 400m of water. Without deep water drilling technology this oil would never be produced. Brazil’s recently announced Tupi discovery is a good example. It occurs in ~2100m of water. Petrobras (PBR), controlled by the Brazilian government, owns 65% of this ~8 billion barrel field.

A confluence of factors are pointing to a developing boom in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects. Increased oil recovery is going to require the implementation of EOR technology on an epic scale. Investors should take note.

There is no doubt that a new generation of oilfield hackers will be getting much more oil out of mature oil fields.

According to Schlumberger’s Oilfield Glossary, the three major types of enhanced oil recovery operations are:

1)chemical flooding (alkaline flooding or micellar-polymer flooding).

2)miscible displacement (carbon dioxide [CO2] injection or hydrocarbon injection).

3)thermal recovery (steamflood or in-situ combustion)

We have found public companies active in all 3 categories and will be profiling them over the coming weeks.

About admin

Check Also

Forex Trading Fundamentals: Good News for the Dollar

Over the past six months it seems like almost every major finance magazine has published an article related to the weakness of the dollar. If you are a currency trader like I am then this topic is particularly relevant to you because you need to know what the long-term trends of each currency are so that you can make profitable trades.


  1. online marketing is much more than putting your advertising online

  2. Thanks for your submission. Another point is that just being a photographer consists of not only issues in taking award-winning photographs but in addition hardships in getting the best video camera suited to your requirements and most especially struggles in maintaining the caliber of your camera. This is very genuine and visible for those photography addicts that are in capturing the nature’s exciting scenes — the mountains, the forests, the particular wild or even the seas. Visiting these daring places definitely requires a dslr camera that can surpass the wild’s hard areas.

  3. There’s noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure good points in features also.

  4. Hi there, you got a quite good page today! I love so much a well done webpage.

Leave a Reply

SEO Powered By SEOPressor