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  • Undeveloped US oil resources: A big target for enhanced oil recovery


    V. Kuuskraa

    Four EOR oil production technologies beyond primary/ secondary methods could recover an additional 210 billion barrels. US oil resources are far from being depleted. Large volumes, in excess of 1,000 billion barrels (Bbbl) of "stranded," unconventional and undiscovered oil remain in the ground, awaiting new extraction concepts and development initiatives. It is important that a portion of this resource is extractable with the best of technology available, when combined with supporting policies and incentives. Additional significant volumes could be produced with further advances in technology and knowledge. The following article summarizes a report prepared by the author’s firm for the US Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy. It documents that the remaining undeveloped technically recoverable domestic oil resource is large, on the order of 400 Bbbl, with 210 Bbbl available from Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). It also outlines what set of actions would convert these resources into economically recoverable reserves and, most important, into increased oil production.

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