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Enhanced oil recovery (abbreviated EOR), also called tertiary recovery, is the extraction of crude oil from an oil field that cannot be extracted otherwise. EOR can extract 30% to 60% or more of a reservoir's oil, compared to 20% to 40% using primary and secondary recovery. According to the US Department of Energy, there are three primary techniques for EOR: thermal, gas injection, and chemical injection. More advanced, speculative EOR techniques are sometimes called quaternary recovery.
There are three primary techniques of EOR: gas injection, thermal injection, and chemical injection. Gas injection, which uses gases such as natural gas, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide (CO2), accounts for nearly 60 percent of EOR production in the United States. Thermal injection, which involves the introduction of heat, accounts for 40 percent of EOR production in the United States, with most of it occurring in California. Chemical injection, which can involve the use of long-chained molecules called polymers to increase the effectiveness of waterfloods, accounts for about one percent of EOR production in the United States. In 2013, a technique called Plasma-Pulse technology was introduced into the United States from Russia. This technique can result in another 50 percent of improvement in existing well production.
The United States has been using CO2 EOR for several decades. For over 30 years, oil fields in the Permian Basin have implemented CO2EOR using naturally sourced CO2 from New Mexico and Colorado. The Department of Energy (DOE) has estimated that full use of 'next generation' CO2-EOR in the United States could generate an additional 240 billion barrels (38 km3) of recoverable oil resources. Developing this potential would depend on the availability of commercial CO2 in large volumes, which could be made possible by widespread use of carbon capture and storage. For comparison, the total undeveloped US domestic oil resources still in the ground total more than 1 trillion barrels (160 km3), most of it remaining unrecoverable. The DOE estimates that if the EOR potential were to be fully realized, state and local treasuries would gain $280 billion in revenues from future royalties, severance taxes, and state income taxes on oil production, aside from other economic benefits.
By Hexaresearch Report The global enhanced oil recovery (EOR) market size is estimated to reach USD 55.02 billion by 2025, fueled by the increasing demand for energy in a broad range of applications including manufacturing, infrastructure and utilities. Rising number of aged wells resulting in low oil output has paved the way for advanced technologies including EOR to achieve optimum production.
Swift adoption of advanced technologies to enhance output and the presence of a large number of aged wells as compared to other regions has resulted in North America dominating the overall market with a volume share of 42.4% in 2016. A substantial amount of oil production in California and an exploration of oil sands in Canada have generated a vast opportunity for the growth of the EOR market in North America. Moreover, favorable government regions supporting E&O activities is expected to boost growth over the next few years.