Examining Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Techniques

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Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) is a generic term for techniques used for increasing the amount of crude oil that can be extracted from an oil well. Using EOR, 30-60 % of the reservoir original oil can be extracted compared with 20-40% using primary and secondary recovery techniques. Enhanced oil recovery is also called improved oil recovery or tertiary recovery. This improved extraction is achieved by gas injection, chemical injection and thermal recovery (which includes cyclic stream, stream flooding, and fire flooding). Gas injection is the most commonly used EOR technique; here gas such as carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas, or nitrogen is injected into the reservoir whereupon it expands and thereby pushes additional oil to a production wellbore, and moreover dissolves in the oil to lower its viscosity and improve the flow rate of the oil. Oil displacement by carbon dioxide injection relies on the phase behaviour of carbon dioxide and crude oil mixture that are strongly dependent on reservoir temperature, pressure and crude oil composition. These mechanisms range from oil swelling and viscosity reduction for injection of immiscible fluids (at low pressure) to completely miscible displacement in high pressure applications. In these applications, more than half and up to two-third of the injected carbon dioxide returns with the produced oil and is usually re-injected into the reservoir to minimize operating cost.

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However, this broad generic definition of MEOR is not a single methodology but is a broader technology which can be designed for different and selective applications. It is convenient to divide the MEOR technology into the following application groups: .. The classification of MEOR technology by the proposed oil releasing mechanism shows the range of microbial effects which can be identified or expected to occur to which the MEOR system can be directed. .. Other MEOR oil releasing mechanisms includes: .. Selective plugging of high permeability zones within a reservoir is necessary to achieve oil recovery. This is best achieved in MEOR process where cells stimulated to grow deeply in a formation where production of biomass and products will have the greatest impact. If growth occurs primarily at the well bore, then face plugging will result, and no additional oil will be recovered, leaving the reservoir unproductive. The micro organisms used in MEOR can be applied to a single oil well or to an entire oil reservoir. They need certain conditions to survive, so nutrients are often introduced into the well certain intervals.

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Although the suggestion that turgor pressure is the driving force for cell wall expansion would imply that the mechanisms that regulate the osmotic balance of organisms are central to the very process of cell growth. Lipid membranes allow rapid diffusion of water molecules into or out of cells while presenting an effective barrier to most other biological molecules. Membranes that exhibit selective permeability for different substances are called semi permeable, and the osmotic properties of cells derive from this property of the membranes. There are bacteria which need high salinities and high temperatures for their growth. In order to investigate and record the conditions of microbes at high salinities and high temperature it is better to know about the bacteria which can withstand on these conditions. Important information has been given about these type of bacteria is discussed below. A thermopile is an extremophile organism which survives at relatively high temperatures. Thermophilic (heat-loving) organisms are organism with an optimum growth temperature of 50o C or more, a maximum of up to 70 .

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