Chemical EOR

Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery

Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (CEOR) solutions make use of chemicals to extract additional hydrocarbons from reservoirs. The main types of CEOR involve polymer, surfactant and alkali. Polymer CEOR involves the dosing of long-chain polymers which increase the viscosity of the water. This improves the mobility and sweep efficiency of the waterflood. Surfactants are dosed in order to lower the interfacial tension between injection water and oil in the reservoir (the same concept as using detergent to remove grease/dirt). This assists in displacing otherwise un-recoverable oil from the reservoir pores. Alkali chemicals (such as caustic soda or sodium carbonate) are also used to achieve a surfactant effect, the alkali reacts with organic acids in the oil and forms a “soap”. This is especially useful for extracting more viscous oils. The 3 techniques may be used in combination with one and other to further improve recovery. The specific CEOR requirements will vary depending on both the reservoir conditions as well as economic factors.


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