EOR Piloting Considerations

It is recommended that an enhanced recovery process be first pilot tested before commercial application. There are many reasons and advantages for an EOR pilot test, some of which include:

  • To gain experience in applying the process in the field,
  • To better define injectant requirements,
  • To assess the potential for yielding commercial incremental oil recovery,
  • To detect any unexpected problems unforeseen in the theoretical and laboratory evaluations of the process.

There are however certain situations in which a pilot may be either inconvenient or not required:

  • The company has adequate experience in field application of the particular EOR process,
  • A sufficient number of field applications in similar formations exist that lead to a coherent understanding of the process,
  • The laboratory and theoretical evaluations are so conclusive as to make a pilot unnecessary,
  • The field is rapidly depleting and the time it would take to conduct the pilot would be detrimental to subsequent field-wide application.

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