Enhancing Production through Improved Oil Recovery (IOR)
Chesapeake’s acquisition of WildHorse Resource Development, now Chesapeake’s Brazos Valley asset, signaled an aggressive strategy to increase oil production within the portfolio. Technology like IOR will play a significant role in that strategy, as it provides synergies that will greatly impact the value of all of our Texas assets in the very near term.
What is IOR?
IOR is a proven, secondary recovery process that has been implemented in the Eagle Ford Shale to increase and accelerate oil recovery from the reservoir. In Chesapeake’s case, we will inject miscible gas into a well to begin the Huff n' Puff (HnP) process. The gas is absorbed into the oil causing it to swell, reducing the viscosity and increasing the mobility of the oil. Increased oil mobility and reservoir pressure allows the oil to move through the rock and gives the reservoir the energy needed to push the oil to the surface.
IOR adds energy to the reservoir, which increases the amount of oil that will ultimately be recovered from a well and accelerates the production that would have occurred later in the well’s life.
Why IOR in the Eagle Ford?
The Eagle Ford formation has produced more than 6 billion barrels of oil through 2018 using primary recovery depletion. Primary recovery alone recovers only 5 – 10% of the Original Oil in Place (OOIP). IOR increases that recovery to 7 – 17% of OOIP. IOR increases the Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) of a well by 30 – 70% compared to primary recovery alone.
The benefits of IOR are typically achieved without drilling or completing additional wells and without requiring local resources such as sand and water. There is also very minimal impact to the existing infrastructure as we leverage existing wells, facilities and right of ways.