IOR-EOR now offers lowest-cost reserves additions

Guntis Moritis
Production Editor

TULSA, Apr. 22 -- Unlike in past years, improved or enhanced oil recovery is now the least costly method for adding reserves, according to a presentation at the 16th SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Apr. 21 in Tulsa.

In his presentation, Rafael Sandrea, president of IPC Petroleum Consultants Inc., Tulsa, estimated that IOR-EOR could add reserves for a capital expenditure of $2-4/bbl. He said this is less than the needed $4.30-6.25/bbl capex for heavy oil production, $4-6/bbl spending for deepwater, $12.86/bbl for acquisitions, and $14.42/bbl for global finding and development costs.

Sandrea also said the target for IOR-EOR remains huge. His estimate of discovered conventional oil in-place to date is 10.9 trillion bbl. In this estimate, he does not include the 3 trillion bbl of heavy oil and bitumen found in Alberta and the Orinoco region of Venezuela.

The world has produced only 1.028 trillion bbl of conventional oil, and Sandrea said that without expanding the use of IOR-EOR methods, the ultimate worldwide recovery factor would be only 22%.

He also cautioned that without extensive increases in recovery factors, world oil demand would face the following supply shortfalls: 2010, 2.7 million b/d; 2015, 5.4 million b/d; 2020, 12.1 million b/d; and 2030, 30.6 million b/d.

Sandrea said the $200-400 billion capital spending needed for adding 100 billion bbl of IOR-EOR reserves is in the same range as the industry's current global spending of $260 billion/year.

Contact Guntis Moritis at

Related Articles

ExxonMobil replaces 103% of 2013 production

02/21/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. replaced 103% of its oil and natural gas production last year with additions to reserves, mostly of crude oil and other liquids.

Hydraulic fracturing stuck in New York policy vacuum

02/01/2014 Persistent institutional indecisiveness by elected officials in New York State has placed the state in the position of not having a statewide polic...

Contact hails Kakwa Montney tight gas-liquids well results

10/16/2013 Contact Exploration Inc., Calgary, said completion of its fourth operated horizontal Middle Montney formation tight gas-liquids well extends the sc...

Watching Government: BC Premier's energy stance

10/14/2013 British Columbia will not budge on its requirements proposed heavy oil export projects must meet, Premier Christy Clark said on Oct. 4. But that do...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected