In their regular supplement to the EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported:
International crude oil prices, which reached their highest point of the year in June, fell to their lowest levels of the year in early August… A further easing of supply concerns and potentially softening demand combined to help loosen crude oil markets over the previous month. In contrast, the U.S. domestic crude oil market tightened in July.”
While it’s nice to see prices dropping at the pump, we can only conclude this trend will not last as worldwide demand surges and conventional drilling fails to meet demand.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Methods Here to Stay
As rising demand puts pressure on long-term prices, investors continue to fund all types of enhanced oil recovery methods. This drives a steeper innovation curve as the Exploration and Production sector thirsts for new ways to extract petroleum with improved efficiency and greater sustainability.
Jeroen Regtien, Vice President of Hydrocarbon Recovery Technologies at Shell International states:
The global demand imbalance between supply and demand for oil and gas is growing. Schlumberger and Shell have recently agreed to start a significant landmark research partnership. The research aims at discovering and developing new methodologies for enhancing recovery… enhanced oil recovery is here to stay.”
When industry leaders recommend increased investment in EOR the rest of the industry pays attention.
Independent investors are following their lead while everyone looks for new and better EOR methods.
Options for Enhanced Oil Recovery
Shell oil reports that an “average of around 35% of oil [is recovered] from reservoirs. The rest remains trapped in the rock. Boosting oil recovery could unlock around 300 billion barrels of oil.”
That means 65% of the world’s oil reserves or 300 billion barrels of oil are available for recovery using EOR technologies.
Common EOR Technologies in Use Today
- Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) – Injecting water-based chemical solutions and polymers that match the thickness of the solution to the thickness of the oil.
- CO2 Floods – Injecting CO2 releases the oil from the formation freeing it to move to production wells – CO2 that emerges when the oil separates is re-injected into the formation.
- Injecting gas that dissolve in oil creates a mixture that flows through the reservoir to production wells.
- Injecting steam into a reservoir heats the oil, making it easier to flow. The steam pushes the oil to wells for drawing to the surface.
These technologies can be costly, labor intensive, consume massive amounts of water, require well down time to implement as well as require well prep time and equipment to separate environmentally toxic agents after the operation is completed.
Plasma Pulse Treatment
Plasma Pulse is an environmentally-friendly technology that allows producers to obtain sustained higher production.
The treatment changes the wells inflow conditions by increasing wellbore permeability and increasing oil mobility in the surrounding reservoir.
How Plasma Pulse Technology Works
This enhanced production technology applies plasma physics principles.
A special tool generates high power shock waves having non-linear, broadband, repetitive pulsing and directed energy characteristics.
The shock waves clean completed intervals, then propagate and translate into elastic waves in the reservoir.
The introduction of elastic vibrations into natural heterogeneous reservoirs initiates resonant frequencies of “Plasma Waves” that increase permeability in the reservoir and increases the relative mobility of crude oil to water.
The cleaning of the near wellbore region, increasing relative oil mobility and the generation of elastic vibrations and their resonance continues after the well is treated with PPT can sustain an increased production flow for periods of up to twelve (12) months or more.
The Plasma Pulse Technology requires minimal downtime for well treatment, no costs for additional materials, uses a one-man crew and a wire line truck.
Although oil and gas prices fluctuate, demand for oil remains high and the need for EOR innovation is growing.
There are over 300 billion barrels of oil trapped in reservoirs and conventional drilling methods can only recover a small percentage.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies can bring much more of that oil to the surface, but most methods are expensive, labor intensive and require separation of inducing agents.
Plasma Pulse Treatment is designed to deliver higher production sustainably, with less down time and at a fraction of the cost of current methods. Furthermore, when used in combination with existing methods it can improve their ultimate return of investment through an improvement of their efficiency.