Background and Proposal

Conventional primary and secondary recovery operations often leave two thirds of the oil in the reservoir. In the Nigeria, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods have the potential to recover an estimated billion barrels of the remaining discovered oil resource. Without EOR, much of this oil will be left in the ground. Although often highly effective, EOR methods are more expensive production methods; consequently, during times of low oil prices their application is limited. However, with an emerging consensus for continued high oil prices and growing concerns over energy security in the world, interest is being revitalized in EOR technologies for increasing recovery.

EOR processes involve injecting a gas or fluid into the reservoir to increase reservoir pressure or reduce oil viscosity in order to mobilize the oil. Injectants include steam (thermal processes); polymers and gels (chemical processes); carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and natural gas (gas processes). A fourth process is microbial EOR. In 2003, thermal recovery projects produced 52% of the total oil produced from EOR methods in the U.S., CO2 projects produced 31%, and other gas injection and chemical methods produced the remaining 17%. CO2 recovery is particularly attractive because it not only is effective in increasing oil recovery, it also can be a way to sequester the CO2 generated by power plants and other industries, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



The goal of the EOR Program is to develop technologies to more efficiently recover petroleum from known reservoirs not producible by current technology, reduce the rate of well abandonments, and improve reservoir modelling and process prediction techniques.

The EOR Program focuses on the development and deployment of technologies that increase oil recovery efficiency in domestic mature reservoirs, in order to produce oil not producible by primary or secondary recovery.The program areas include:

  • CO2 injection, which increases production by raising reservoir pressure and reducing oil viscosity.
  • Thermal methods that are used to recover heavy oil where heat is used to lower oil viscosity
  • Chemical methods that consist of injecting 1) polymers and gels to control movement of water and oil in the reservoir; 2) surfactants, or alkaline-enhanced chemicals that release the oil from the reservoir rock surfaces; and 3) foams to displace oil from the reservoir to the producing well.
  • Microbial EOR, where either microorganism are injected into the reservoir or the in-situ bacteria are encourage to grow, producing gas and surfactants to improve oil recovery.
  • Novel Methods, which are those outside the mainstream of  EOR technology. One current novel method employs seismic vibrations to change the reservoir’s fluid properties.

Reservoir Simulation, which entails developing, advanced computational techniques to help predict the response of a reservoir to a current recovery processor to predict the oil recovery of a planned project.Our focus is to apply EOR in Niger Delta oil operations in Nigeria to improves oil reservoirs production capacity.