Enhanced oil recovery water requirements
- Cite this article as:
- Royce, B., Kaplan, E., Garrell, M. et al. Minerals and the Environment (1984) 6: 44. doi:10.1007/BF02072654
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Water requirements for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are thoroughly evaluated using publicly available information, data from actual field applications and information provided by knowledgeable EOR technologists in fourteen major oil companies. Water quanity and quality requirements are estimated for individual EOR processes (steam drive,in situ combustion and carbon dioxide, micellar-polymer, polymer and caustic flooding) in those states and specific geographical locations where these processes will likely play major roles in future petroleum production by the year 2000. The estimated quantity requirements represent thetotal water needed from all sources, e.g. aquifers, lakes and produced water. A reduction in these quantities can be achieved by reinjecting all of the produced water potentially available for recyle, e.g. some is lost in oil and water separation and water treatment processes, in the oil recovery method. For injection water quality requirements, it is noted that not all of the water used for EOR needs to be fresh. The use oftreated produced water can significantly reduce the quantities of fresh water that would be sought from other sources. Although no major EOR project to date has been abandoned because of water supply problems, competing regional uses for water, drought situations, and scarcity of high quality, e.g. low total dissolved solids, surface water and ground water could be impediments to certain projects in the near future.