Adnoc orders Wintershall's EOR technology samples
Biopolymer could be used in pilot field tests if initial laboratory results prove positive
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has requested samples of Wintershall's Enhanced Oil Recovery technology, signalling intent to explore more environmentally friendly EOR methods, an official from the German E&P firm has revealed.
Wintershall’s Martin Bremeier, technology manager for the Middle East, told Arabianoilandgas.com that Wintershall's famous biopolymer Schizophyllan has attracted the interest of Adnoc’s Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, which recently requested samples for testing.
The studies are ongoing and if results prove positive, the biopolymer could be used in pilot field tests, Bremeier said.
“Schizophyllum commune, the split gill fungus, is one of the world's most widespread spread fungi; it grows on softwood and hardwood. Schizophyllan, the biopolymer that can be extracted from the fungus, exhibits - even in low concentrations - a strong thickening effect that remains stable at up to 140 degrees Celsius and in high salt concentrations,” explains Bremier.
When injected inside the gelatine-like substance thickens the water of the deposit to increase output. The water then forces more oil out of the deposit and to the surface because it no longer flows past the valuable raw material so easily. As a result of this process, oil recovery can be increased from an average of 35% to 45%, Bremier adds.
Its resistance to heat and quick thickening properties could prove particularly useful to the geographical conditions in the Middle East, which Wintershall believes holds a great potential for EOR investment.
Adnoc is one of the oil operators in the region, alongside Petroleum Dvelopment Oman, looking to invest heavily in enhanced oil recovery to increase production from its more difficult reserves and maturing fields.
As the national oil company and the UAE main oil producer, Adnoc will play an important role in raising crude oil production to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2017.