The enhanced oil recovery market is expected to grow in Asia-Pacific due to the factors such as high sustained oil prices and increase in imports. Developing countries such as Brazil, India, and Canada have major operational chemical enhanced oil recovery projects. Countries such as Canada and Romania have some ongoing projects using in-situ combustion process.
Crude oil can be obtained from reservoirs by three different phases, primary, secondary and tertiary (enhanced) recovery. Primary recovery is due to the natural pressure of the reservoir that drives oil into the wellbore or it can also be done with the help of artificial lift techniques which brings oil to the surface. However, most of the oil which can be simply recovered from the primary method has been recovered by producers, so producers use several tertiary or enhanced oil recovery techniques to drive out the oil from the reservoirs. Applications of the enhanced oil recovery technique include onshore and offshore.
On the basis of technology used in recovering oil by tertiary method, the enhanced oil recovery market can be categorized as gas enhanced oil recovery, thermal enhanced oil recovery and chemical enhanced oil recovery techniques. Mostly used technique for extracting heavy viscous crude oil is thermal enhanced oil recovery, in which recovery is done by injecting thermal energy into the reservoir for decreasing the viscosity and increasing the temperature of crude oil. Most of oil reserves have heavy oil, so thermal enhanced oil recovery technique is a leading enhanced oil recovery market. Methods such as in-situ and steam injection are used for thermal injection. Steam flooding, steam assisted gravity drainage and cyclic steam stimulation are used for steam injection methods. Steam flooding method is used for light oil reservoirs having depth less than 3,000 feet, whereas in-situ method is generally used in heavy oil sandstone reservoirs.
Gas enhanced oil recovery is expected to increase in the coming years due to various reasons such as increase in oil recovery and disposal of greenhouse gas. Gases used in gas enhanced oil recovery technique are nitrogen, and hydrogen. Carbon dioxide released by power generation and industrial sector into the atmosphere is utilized in gas enhanced oil recovery technique to extract crude oil. Chemical enhanced oil recovery is increasing at a significant rate because of advancements in technology. Chemical enhanced oil recovery technique use polymer, alkali and surfactant solutions for oil recovery. The technique reduces interfacial tension between water and oil, and control mobility by adding polymers (Hydrolyzed polyacrylamide).
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