Making the most of our resources
Around one third of oil in a typical field flows easily up through wells. Once these resources have been produced, the rest is often considered too difficult and costly to extract. But as global demand for energy grows, we are developing advanced techniques to recover up to 30% more.
When an oil field comes on stream, it has enough pressure inside to push the oil up through the wells naturally. But over time the pressure in the field drops and the flow of oil slows. In an increasingly energy-hungry world, the benefits of increasing the amount of oil extracted from existing fields are huge. A relatively small increase of just 1% globally would equate to three years’ production at current levels.
What is enhanced oil recovery?
Injecting water, chemicals, gas or steam into a field can make the oil flow more easily and boost recovery. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology can help us extract an additional 5-30% of the oil in place, increasing the overall recovery level from the field to 50-70% or even higher.
EOR could help to unlock as much as 300 billion more barrels of oil worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency.
In the face of declining oil fields and at a time when recovering hydrocarbons is becoming more difficult, effective techniques are key to extract more oil from mature fields.
Enhanced oil recovery solutions
Re-energising hydrocarbon fields across the world
Title: Shell Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions, re-energising hydrocarbon fields across the world - from YouTube
Duration: 2:50 minutes
Detailing the application of enhanced oil recovery technologies to boost hydrocarbon production in mature oil fields and around the world.
Shell Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions, re-energising hydrocarbon fields across the world - from YouTube Transcript
[Background music plays]
Rhythmic, instrumental music.
Black screen dissolves to wide shot of the black outline of tall dunes against an orange sky.
An aboveground injection structure appears in the foreground and other pipeline components in the mid-ground in fast motion as the sky turns from orange hues to blue and the dunes and surrounding oilfields take on light brown hues.
Zoom in on the injection structure and white flash dissolve to aerial view and zoom in on the oilfield pipeline structures. Brown, reflective surface forms the background.
Shell Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions
Re-energising Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Across the World
Zoom to oblique angle shot of a pipeline, zooming to follow the blue liquid flowing through the pipeline. Brown earth and blue skies form the background.
Cut to point of view shot as from within the pipe, the outline of the sand dunes and the injection structure seen through shades of white and blue, as though a photo negative.
Cut to front view of value structure, blue fluid flowing through, white light reflecting on the structure and background as the camera pans to a reverse view of the structure and pulls back to reveal an extreme wide shot of the pipeline above with the undulating layers or strata of earth revealed below, sand dunes and blue skies forming the background at the top of the frame. Several layers of earth in the animated top section appear to recede.
In the face of declining oil fields and at a time when recovering hydrocarbons is becoming more difficult, effective techniques are key to extract more oil from mature fields. Shell is one of the leaders in this area.
Zoom to oblique angle shot of the layers of earth, all receding and revealing a black layer, two pipes shooting down into that layer, one showing blue liquid being injected down.
Dissolve to high angle view of section of one smaller black rectangular section seen against the background of other earthen-coloured layers, blue fluid still flowing down the pipeline into it.
Zoom to the black rectangle as blue seeps across it from frame-left to right to flood the majority of the rectangle.
Slight panning across the short edge of the triangle as purple seeps across to mingle with the blue and cover the black rectangle completely.
Zoom into and through the purple liquid, showing waves of purple, reflecting white in parts as it swirls.
Horizontal blue flash dissolve to purple droplets floating over black oil particles against a grey background.
With capabilities across the full suite of Enhanced Oil Recovery technologies, our objective is to develop the best technical and most economic solutions for an individual reservoir. One of our focus areas is enhanced water-flooding. This includes Alkaline Surfactant Polymer technology – a part of the Chemical enhanced oil recovery family.
Close-up animated sequence of a purple and black particle drifting towards each other, the purple particle disappearing beneath the oil surface of the black particle amidst silver ripples at the point of impact. The black oil encasing the particle flows off the now-yellow particle and the particle disappears top of frame-left and the camera zooms into the swirling waves of silvery black.
A specially tailored cocktail of Alkaline and Surfactant mobilises the oil. Then the Polymer effectively drives it out of the reservoir.
Zoom into a sea of pink particles.
Zoom out and pan around the rectangle, revealing ripples of blue mingled with black across the left half of the rectangle and ripples of purple mingled with black over the right half of the rectangle, all against the pale earthen colours of the layers beneath and above.
Pan to a pipeline running from the rectangular layer, up through the layers of earth to the earth’s surface, blue skies visible above as the camera zooms up the length of the pipeline.
Pan up through the top layers of the earth to a wide view of the oilfield, pipeline structures, brown earth and sand dunes and blue skies forming the background.
Zoom to aerial view of the reservoir structure, seen against the background of brown earth, as we follow the movement of oil along the pipeline, and if fills the now-transparent reservoir, and liquid flows out via another pipeline.
The reservoir and pipeline structures become opaque again as the shot zooms out to distant aerial view of the oilfield until only the brown sands are visible.
Seeking to boost hydrocarbon production, Shell is applying enhanced oil recovery technologies around the world. As the oil price has risen, there is an upsurge in this promising field and yet more innovation.
Zoom out from the sands of the oil fields, past clouds and satellites to a wide view of the globe of the earth, light reflecting off it from the sun beyond, a faint blue hue around the globe against the black, starry background of space.
Panning shot around the rotating globe, revealing small, transparent cubes in shades of orange, yellow and red, with white borders hang in space, attached to various continents by white dotted lines.
Shell Enhanced Oil Recovery Projects Across the World
Our deep experience in enhanced oil recovery and our large project portfolio offer huge potential to maximise oil recovery for us and our partners across the world. Shell’s global efforts are backed by a sustained high overall R and D spend – $1 billion in 2010, keeping Shell at the forefront of all the IOCs. Responding to the world’s need for energy, Shell is committed to taking oil recovery to the next level – with innovative technologies being the platform to success.
White flash dissolve to red text on white screen.
Shell Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions
Re-energising Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Across the World
Dissolve to Shell logo.
Decades of EOR expertise
Because each oil reservoir is unique, there can be no one-size-fits-all EOR solution. We have gained a deep expertise in EOR technology over 40 years, enabling us to develop a wide range of proven and innovative oil recovery technologies for fields with varying characteristics.
Shell’s development process advances EOR technologies from the lab to successful full-scale commercial deployment in a cost-conscious environment. Some of our technologies inject water into the field with solvents, polymers or reduced salt content to boost pressure and improve flow. Others inject steam or gases like methane or carbon dioxide to reduce the viscosity of the oil.
Along with our partners we have more than 10 EOR projects in operation or at the development stage, and more than 25 technology field trials or studies under way.
A range of innovative geophysical technologies – such as seismic imaging – that play an important role in our search for new energy resources, allow us to continuously monitor any changes in the wells and rock during enhanced oil recovery.
We have developed different techniques for monitoring the effects of the water, steam or gas that we inject into the reservoir, and maximise production accordingly. They also help us to better understand undeveloped parts of the field and identify pockets of oil we may have overlooked.
More in this section
We are developing ways to unlock new energy resources safely and efficiently, often in more challenging environments.
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