Heavy oil reservoirs are notoriously difficult to produce and primary recovery is often low even with CHOPS (Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand). Thermal injection is the classical EOR method used for heavy oil but it is not always applicable, for instance when reservoirs are deep or too thin. In addition thermal methods require high capital investments and may be difficult to justify in particular for smaller fields.
How to Solve It:
Until recently chemical EOR was not considered for heavy oil due to the belief that it was not adapted for high viscosity oil; this has changed significantly in the past few years however with several field applications demonstrating the applicability of these processes to high viscosity oil (less than 10,000 cp so far). The Alliance has developed a specific expertise, tools and methods to improve chemical EOR in heavy oil.
For those heavy oil fields that are being developed with thermal injection, the Alliance has also
developed additives for steam foam generation. Steam foam can be used in particular to improve
conformance during steam injection.
Learn more about Steam Foam
Learn more about SP for Heavy Oil
Learn more about Polymer Flooding