Keywords: chemical EOR, enhanced oil recovery, recovery factors, thermodynamics, global energy scenario, EOR classification, global oil demand, hydrocarbon shortage, displacement processes, petroleum engineering
Global oil demand and role of chemical EOR methods in the 21st century
Comparing the proven reserves and the YTF resources, the authors demonstrate that mankind will face with dwindling hydrocarbon shortage, meanwhile substantial part of the reserves is left in the reservoirs. Therefore, the role of IOR/EOR methods, particularly the sophisticated chemical technologies, will increase and they will also form a mainstay to preserve the existing equilibrium between production and the global demand. The authors emphasized that the present comprehension and interpretation of IOR/EOR methods seems to be obsolete and new interdisciplinary approach is necessary to get breakthrough in reservoir engineering. As an attempt, a novel thermodynamic interpretation of displacement processes is detailed in this paper, which is a consistent basis to classify the EOR methods and anticipate their inherent efficiency. The authors stated that the petroleum engineering and the relevant scientific areas got to the phase of 'revolutionary science'. Namely, the old ideas, approaches must be replaced by new paradigms.