Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Residual Oil Zones -- Up to 100 Billion Barrels Oil in US

Billions of barrels of oil that could increase domestic supply, help reduce imports, and improve US energy security may be potentially recoverable from residual oil zones, according to initial findings from a study supported by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.

Residual oil zones, called ROZs, are areas of immobile oil found below the oil-water contact of a reservoir. ROZs are similar to reservoirs in the mature stage of “waterflooding,” in which water has been injected into a formation to sweep oil toward a production well.

In the case of ROZs, the reservoir has essentially been waterflooded by nature and requires enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies, such as CO2 flooding, to produce the residual oil.

DOE estimated in 2006 that ROZs could contain 100 billion bbl of the 1.124 trillion bbl of technically recoverable oil in place in US reservoirs (OGJ, Mar. 13, 2006, p. 30). _OGJ_via_Peakoil.com
The actual amount of ultimately recoverable oil in the US is likely to be far higher than the official 1.124 trillion bbl of technically recoverable oil estimated by the US DOE. But that is the way it always seems to be: there always seems to be much more oil & gas in the long run than was first estimated.
UTPB will further delineate the presence and size of ROZ areas in the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico using geophysical well logs and well test data, core and fluid samples, and water chemistry data. Researchers will also determine if 3D seismic can be used to identify the higher-quality portions of the ROZ resource to assist small oil producers in the Permian basin and other US ROZ basins.

According to OGJ’s 2012 worldwide EOR survey, US CO2-EOR production is 350,000 b/d of oil (OGJ, Apr. 2, 2012, p. 57). Nine industry ROZ CO2-EOR pilot projects in the Permian basin of Texas account for 10,000 b/d of oil. Results and findings from DOE-supported research should help to increase recovery from this domestic resource and create American jobs, the Office of Fossil Energy said. _OGJ _ via _ PO.com

Advanced methods of oil recovery are being developed every day, increasing yields, reducing ultimate costs, and pushing back peak oil doom with every new innovation.

Once the widespread use of cheap high quality heat from scalable and site-based high temperature gas cooled reactors (HTGRs) becomes available, I would not want to be known as a peak oil doomer in public. Oh the humiliation!

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