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Identifying Enhanced Oil Recovery Potential in Alberta

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Canada / 2012 / Reservoir Characterization

1-year study, 6 Sproule engineering experts

Extensive research and analysis of 90 existing EOR projects in Alberta

Assessed the potential success and failure factors for each project

EOR criteria ranges developed for screening 12,000 future pools

Challenge

  • The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) required an independent study on the success of existing Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) projects in Alberta, Canada, and the potential for converting other pools to EOR
  • The ERCB—now the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)—is responsible for managing Alberta’s energy resources by ensuring the safe, efficient, orderly and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their life cycle

Solution

  • The study involved retrieving information on approximately 90 existing EOR schemes, followed by an assessment of the associated factors for potential success or failure
  • Sproule’s engineering team used this information to develop criteria for the screening of future EOR prospects, which was ultimately applied to 12,000 pools in Alberta, to determine the most suitable EOR process and potential incremental recoverable volumes

Value

  • A report was prepared by Sproule summarizing the study findings and made available to industry through the ERCB
  • Examination by Sproule of the records of EOR projects in Alberta indicates numerous technical successes, with significant increases in oil recovery
  • The report concluded that a large number of oil pools in Alberta are amenable to EOR; the documented screening parameters can be used to determine which EOR process would work best for a particular pool