Developments in Heavy-Oil EOR for the Era of Low Oil Pricing
By Jose G. Flores, Distinguished Lecturer
Thursday, April 12th 2018 @ 11:30 AM Petroleum Club 12th Floor - 5060 California Avenue, Bakersfield
Speaker: Jose Flores, Distinguished lecturer, Independent Consultant
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In low oil-price environments, it is customary to cut expenses, reduce staff, and postpone most, if not all, capital investments. While this strategy may be financially sound in the short term, it is ineffective in the long run, particularly for companies with the need to sustain production levels or to replace reserves through drilling, production or reservoir projects. Heavy oil projects are usually more challenging, as production costs are higher and the oil price is even lower. This presentation addresses the dilemma of controlling cost and at the same time sustaining production and increasing recovery. A balance can be struck by focusing on the quality of decisions, such as when and where to invest, and ensuring that projects are delivered on- budget, a common issue in the E&P industry. The central idea in this presentation is that, in the most complex and financially challenging case of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) projects, the combination of quality decision making and the implementation of “fit-for-purpose” technology offers the most promising middle-point. By providing eight examples of innovative technologies to help reduce uncertainty, cost and time for delivering commercial EOR oil, and three successful case studies, the audience will gain confidence in the proposition that it is perfectly viable to double recoveries for many of our fields in the next 15 years, even in the current price scenario. Finally, EOR is a business, and as such it needs to compete favorably with other businesses in a company’s E&P portfolio - challenging in low oil price environments. The lecture will close by presenting a strategy, illustrated with an example, on how to divert from the traditional engineering approach in favor of a managerial decision approach, that will help engineers to justify viable recovery projects.
Jose Gonzalo Flores is an independent consultant and instructor in production and reservoir engineering of heavy oils. Previously, he worked for Schlumberger and Occidental Petroleum Corp. covering a 25-year period, in roles involving the structuring, leading, advising and field implementation of production optimization and improved recovery projects, and as instructor for NExT, globally. He is an expert in reservoir engineering and production enhancement, including strategies to increase the recovery factor in heavy oil and mature fields, and has over 45 publications in the literature. Flores received his B.S. degree from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima, Peru, and holds M.E. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, all in Petroleum Engineering. As a member of the SPE, he regularly serves in steering and technical roles in conferences, forums and workshops. He currently serves on the SPE Editorial Review Committee and was co-chair of the 2016 SPE Latin America Heavy Oil Conference.