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Evaluating and Commercializing a Solvent-based Enhanced Oil Recovery Technology Public Executive Summary

Lead Organizaation: 
Restoration Energy Company LLC
Principal Investigator: 

Peter F. Schaefer
5101 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

Restoration Energy Corporation LLC (REC) was organized in the US in the spring of 2010 to bring a new enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) technology to the sector of the US market composed, mainly, of low-producing or closed (shut-in or capped) wells. In field tests, this technology has routinely doubled the production of stripper wells and has been able to restore commercially viable production to closed wells.

Restoration Energy’s EOR technology is an advance in the state-of-the-art of solventbased extraction, and their products are new to the North American market. REC’s technology was developed in the Orinoco Belt based on nearly three decades of work by petroleum engineers using field-based experimental techniques. REC has exclusive rights to this system for North America and several other regions.

The REC approach is a proprietary, two-chemical system using a solvent introduced into the well, and a surfactant used on the surface to treat the extracted crude oil. The solvent is introduced directly into the well through the existing production tubing. The extracted crude oil is then treated on the surface with a surfactant which separates the remaining solvent and water from the crude oil. The water will be sufficiently clean at this point to return to the environment while the remaining solvent is reused.

The REC technology is different from other solvent extraction technologies; i) it is simple to use, ii) it is very effective and so is economic even in the lower range of present projections for crude oil prices, iii) it substantially increases the API freeing wells and equipment clogged with paraffin and asphaltics, and iv) it is “green” because it is biodegradable, recoverable, and will clean crude from any water which might be extracted with the crude oil.

The purpose of this proposal to the Stripper Well Consortium is to help REC fund a field test and demonstration project aimed at evaluating the technology for both the general and specific conditions in the US market such as i) the regulatory environment, ii) conformity to the requirements of the crude oil buyers, iii) calibration of the formula for the particular oilfield conditions – the chemical composition of the crude oil, the level of water and other impurities – thus allowing pilot operations to be extended directly into commercial operations, iv) generate independently verified data in the US by a reputable lab, and v) allow officials, scientists and other independent producers to view the operations.

There is more than a trillion barrels of unrecoverable oil in the US largely due to high recovery costs. Bringing down EOR costs offers substantial potential for providing increased income to small US producers and for increasing overall US crude oil reserves. Billions of barrels are immediately accessible but not recoverable using current EOR techniques which are often too costly to use in marginal wells. This oil can only be economically recovered if prices rise to justify the additional investment, or if new lowercost EOR techniques become available, which REC will offer the market.

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