SPE: Pemex aspires for 60% oil recovery from Cantarell

Pemex Exporation & Production is studying new ways for recovering more oil from the tight reservoir matrix of the Cantarell field off Mexico.

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Production Editor

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 7 -- Pemex Exporation & Production is studying new ways for recovering more oil from the tight reservoir matrix of the Cantarell field off Mexico.

Speaking Oct. 7 at the SPE Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, Carlos Morales Gil, Pemex E&P director general, said carbon dioxide injection might provide the means to produce additional oil from the field that originally contained about 35 billion bbl of oil in place, making it the third largest oil field in the world. Steam injection is another possibility for improving recovery of the field's 22° gravity oil, he said.

Gil said Pemex now targets a 60% oil recovery from the field. To date, Pemex has produced about 12.2 billion bbl and has obtained a 41% recovery for the Akal portion of the field, he noted.

The Chac 1 well, drilled from June 1974 to July 1976, discovered the field. First production started in 1979 and Pemex maintained about a 1 million bo/d production level until 1996. An infill drilling program, additional platforms, and a 1.2 bcfd nitrogen injection scheme increased production in the field to more the 2 million bo/d in 2001. Since then, production has declined and currently is about 600,000 bo/d, Gil said.

One obstacle for carbon dioxide injection is to find a large source of carbon dioxide. Gil said that the field would need a carbon dioxide supply of about 1.2 bcfd, the same as the nitrogen injection rate.

Contact Guntis Moritis at guntism@ogjonline.com.

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