Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery


The Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Research Project includes both experimental and modeling research and development of all chemical EOR methods including polymer flooding, surfactant flooding, alkaline-surfactant-polymer flooding, wettability alteration, mobility control using foam and low salinity water flooding by a team of more than 50 faculty members, senior research scientists, research associates, post docs, graduate students and undergraduate students. Major advances in chemical EOR have greatly extended the range of reservoir conditions and types, reduced the cost of recovering the oil and increased the process robustness. Entirely new classes of superior surfactants have been developed as part of this research project and are now being deployed in numerous field projects. New capabilities have been added to the UTCHEM simulator and engineers worldwide are using UTCHEM to simulate their chemical floods.

Organization and Funding

The research program is directed by Dr. Kishore Mohanty and Dr. Matthew Balhoff and brings together several faculty members, research associates, laboratory technicians and graduate students.

To ensure adequate progress on the selected projects a funding level of $50,000 per company per year is solicited. Funding is distributed to the research groups constituting the research program based on the scope of the research proposed and the requirements for laboratory research. A workshop is held at the conclusion of each year's research to present research results to the industrial affiliates and to solicit feedback.

Please see a sample agreement (PDF format) for more specific participation information.

Annual Meeting

The 2019 Annual Review Meeting for the Chemical EOR Industrial Affiliates Project was held o Monday and Tuesday, April 15-16, 2019. The meeting is a closed meeting for members of sponsor companies. Some of the topics expected to be discussed include: (1) Prediction of Microemulsion Phase Behavior from Surfactant Structure; (2) ASP Flood in a HT Carbonate Reservoir; (3) SP Flood in a HT Carbonate Reservoir; (4) New Surfactants; (5) Viscous Oil SP/ASP Floods; (6) Associative Polymers in Low Permeability Carbonates; (7) Polymer Stability at HTHS; (8) Ultra-Short Hydrophobe Surfactants for Improved Polymer Flooding; (9) Microemulsion Mobility Control for Fractured Carbonates; (10) Novel Micromodels for Carbonate Reservoirs; (11) Low Salinity Waterflood in Micromodels; (12) Optimization of Low Tension Gas Flood as a secondary oil recovery method in High Salinity Tight Carbonates; (13) The Visualization of Tertiary Low Tension Gas floods in tight sandstones using X-ray computed tomography; (14) Viscoelastic Polymer Flooding; (15) Machine Learning to Predict Polymer Rheology; (16) UTCHEM Enhancements; (17) Implementation of Viscous Fingering/Microemulsion Models; (18) Oil-in-Water Emulsification of Bitumen; (19) A Novel Wettability Modifier for Improved Waterflooding in Carbonate Reservoirs; and (20) Surfactant Treatment of Shales. We will also have a field test presentation from one of our Industry sponsors.