enhanced oil recovery enhanced oil recovery

enhanced oil recovery (EOR)

advanced EOR technology allows Chevron to extend the life from existing assets

extending the life of mature fields

Historic photos of Texas gushers depict some oil comes out by itself, but the rest must be helped along by pumping, water injection or enhanced oil recovery (EOR). This allows us to extend the life and get more production from existing assets, known as base business. Chevron invests heavily in base business, much of it in EOR. Already, years of investment in technology and efficiency—including oil and gas projects—have flattened Chevron’s natural decline curve for existing assets from 14 percent to less than 2 percent over the last several years. Chevron’s goal of growing production depends on a strong-performing base business, and that means a big role for EOR.

enhanced oil recovery waterflooding

EOR's vast potential

New oil discoveries grab headlines. But enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies aim to recover billions of barrels already discovered, yet historically beyond reach.

With such huge potential, Chevron invests time, money and talent to continuously improve steamflooding (new horizontal wells in California, for example, yield 10 times more oil than conventional wells). In the Partitioned Zone, between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Chevron’s Wafra steamflood leveraged existing steamflooding technology to carbonate as well as sandstone reservoirs.

Meanwhile, many Chevron professionals focus on non-thermal EOR, which company experts believe could create a new class of project assets and be comparable in importance to game-changing technologies like hydraulic fracturing. Taming the non-thermal EOR frontier could launch a specialized, sub-industry, integrating chemical design and manufacturing, logistics, reservoir management and complex field systems to deliver new energy to meet the world’s growing demand.