GlobalData’s latest report, Enhanced Oil Recovery, suggests that enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is emerging as an essential technique in global oil production, as production from mature fields is declining and new hydrocarbon discoveries are not sufficient to match the growing energy demand. EOR is a thermal or compositional transformation of either the hydrocarbons or reservoir rock to aid in the recovery of additional volumes.

EOR helps to maximize the oil reserves recovered, extend the life of fields, and increase the recovery factor. It is an important tool for firms helping to maintain production and increasing the returns on older investments.

Although, benefitting from the presence of existing infrastructure EOR technology is often costly and uneconomic. The high cost of EOR efforts has been deterrent to its wider use but, when economical, it can provide equivalent or lower cost barrels when compared to new greenfield developments.

As fewer large new discoveries are made, EOR will be an option to maintain or increase production for mature fields. EOR will continue to be an important technology to increase the value of the late life assets and as new techniques evolve EOR will play a greater role in the global supply of oil.

New technologies and materials are greatly improving the yield from EOR techniques and will continue to provide additional production at mature fields. In addition, EOR is now being considered during the field development to further enhance the performance of new fields. The macro economic effects of increasing EOR programs will increase production and recoverable reserves of oil though most will only be viable in a higher price environment.

GlobalData’s thematic research identifies China National Petroleum Corp, Rosneft Oil Co., Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., Petroleos Mexicanos, and Saudi Arabian Oil Co., as some of the key companies with global leadership in EOR programs.

Global leaders in EOR programs