Within Improved Oil Recovery (IOR), NORCE aims to:
Improve the oil recovery both for sandstone and carbonate reservoirs.
Our vision is to understand the physical and chemical interactions of oil, gas, water and reservoir rock through numerical models and core flooding experiments with the ultimate goal to evaluate, recommend and test Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)-strategies for our clients and assist during implementation. The research has led to in-depth understanding of physical and chemical processes and resulted in successful field tests. Lately the focus has been on methods to improve oil recovery by optimizing the water chemistry. We have investigated the effect of brine composition on the physical parameters and the impact on the recovery mechanisms.
Improve reservoir management by developing methods in order to maximize hydrocarbon recovery.
Better characterization of oil reservoirs, estimation of reservoir parameters by assimilation of production data, better simulation tools, production optimization and well control are current research areas. In particular we focus on fast updating of reservoir models using ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) and other ensemble-based methods. The use of ensemble Kalman filter for updating reservoir simulation models was initiated by our researchers in 2001. This approach has been met with large interest both from industry and academia, and there is a growing number of publications. Our research is carried out in close cooperation with industry partners and we make an effort to validate our tools on real field cases.
Enhance oil recovery (EOR) in close cooperation with both universities and oil companies.
The research is carried out at pore-, core- and reservoir-scales and includes both experimental and modeling approaches. NORCE's laboratory facilities provide high quality measurements at desired conditions, including reservoir ones under high pressure and temperature conditions, and using live reservoir fluids. Laboratory results are modeled using both in-house software prototypes and commercial models/simulators aiming to identify mechanisms contributing to improved oil recovery. Our experience and knowledge are important when we assist the oil companies in performing field pilots.
Important EOR R&D areas include:
- Macroscopic reservoir sweep efficiency – Use of water diverting agents (polymers, gels, silicate) to improve macroscopic sweep efficiency and manage water production, use of foam to improve hydrocarbon gas- or CO2 – injection performance.
- Rock/fluid and geo-mechanical properties in carbonate rocks.
- Microscopic sweep efficiency – Technical Potential, recovery and transport mechanisms of surfactants-, low salinity-, and CO2-flooding; reduction of capillary forces; phase behavior; core floods and modeling.
- Pore scale mechanisms – Modeling of fluids distribution, and impact of formation wettability and capillary pressure on oil recovery.