OU and MidCon Energy developing cost-effective next generation advanced EOR technologies

Apr 23, 2010

University of Oklahoma researchers are developing a new chemical enhanced oil recovery technology to tap the estimated 300 billion barrels of oil left behind in existing U.S. reservoirs after conventional and secondary oil recovery methods.

A team of researchers from OU's School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering has joined with Tulsa-based Mid-Con Energy to develop and test this new cost-effective chemical EOR technique in existing Oklahoma fields.

"We are at a crossroads," say Bor-Jier (Ben) Shiau, OU assistant professor and director of the Mewbourne Applied Surfactant Laboratory. "The demands cleaner energy produced from coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind and ."

Only 25 percent of the nation's domestic has been produced, yet big oil companies abandoned domestic production long ago for deepwater drilling off the coast. In Oklahoma, independent oil producers own the majority of reserves, but production from marginal or stripper wells yields 10 barrels of oil or less per day.

Mid-Con Energy's experience with waterflooding will prove valuable in the field. Waterflooding is the precursor to flooding the team will use in the five pilot projects in the state. Cushing, the first pilot project site, will take place by the end of the year. The other four project pilot sites have yet to be determined.

OU will develop the new cost-effective surfactants to reduce the risk of producing the oil left behind. And, if the chemical EOR technique proves successful, producing these new surfactants or 'soaps' will require a new manufacturing plant and labor force in Oklahoma--an of this research.

The U.S. Department of Energy ($500K) and EDGE ($2M) funded the three-year project that involves university-industry collaboration, plus the added economic development and education benefits.

Explore further: Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

Provided by University of Oklahoma

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Carbon sequestration field test begins

May 16, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy says its Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has started its first enhanced oil recovery field test in Illinois.

'Green' gasoline on the horizon?

Jan 13, 2009

University of Oklahoma researchers believe newer, more environmentally friendly fuels produced from biomass could create alternative energy solutions and alleviate dependence on foreign oil without requiring changes to current ...

Coal-to-liquids plant is considered

May 21, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a feasibility study for a commercial 50,000-barrel-a-day coal-to-liquids facility in the Illinois coal basin.

How much oil have we used?

May 07, 2009

Estimates of how much crude oil we have extracted from the planet vary wildly. Now, UK researchers have published a new estimate in the International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology that suggests we ...

Recommended for you

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

5 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental ...

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

Sep 19, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

User comments : 0