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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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enhanced oil recovery

1. n. [Enhanced Oil Recovery]
An oil recovery enhancement method using sophisticated techniques that alter the original properties of oil. Once ranked as a third stage of oil recovery that was carried out after secondary recovery, the techniques employed during enhanced oil recovery can actually be initiated at any time during the productive life of an oil reservoir. Its purpose is not only to restore formation pressure, but also to improve oil displacement or fluid flow in the reservoir. The three major types of enhanced oil recovery operations are chemical flooding (alkaline flooding or micellar-polymer flooding), miscible displacement (carbon dioxide [CO2] injection or hydrocarbon injection), and thermal recovery (steamflood or in-situ combustion). The optimal application of each type depends on reservoir temperature, pressure, depth, net pay, permeability, residual oil and water saturations, porosity and fluid properties such as oil API gravity and viscosity. Enhanced oil recovery is also known as improved oil recovery or tertiary recovery and it is abbreviated as EOR.
Alternate Form: EOR