The EOR TCP brings together independent, international groups of experts from around the world to lead research that seeks to improve the efficiency of energy recovery processes, while reducing the emissions from those processes and lessening environmental impacts of production.
The International Energy Agency developed several individual Technology Collaboration Programs (which operate independently of the IEA) to advance the research, development and commercialization of energy technologies. The scope and strategy of each TCP is in keeping with the IEA’s shared goals of energy security, environmental protection and economic growth, as well as engagement worldwide. You can read more about the IEA’s Technical Collaboration Programs across a wide range of energy R&D by clicking here.
EOR TCP members conduct research in the following broadly defined topic areas:
More information is available on each of these research topics by clicking each of the bullet points above.
Fluids and Interfaces is one of the four key areas of research in the EOR TCP. Flow of liquids in porous media is important to the oil and gas industry. There are various kinds of interfaces and membranes that can be using in enhanced oil production, and it is the properties of the interfaces, their pore structures, and types of fluids that improve the flow paths of oil and gas in porous media. R&D in this area is expansive, and several papers are available in the EOR TCP database related to this research area.
Surfactants and Polymers. This subject area includes the injection and interaction of fluids in the subsurface for enhanced hydrocarbon production that have employed the addition of novel surfactants, polymers and solvents that allow the oil to interact and become miscible with water, making the oil more viscous and flowing.
Thermal Recovery. Different varieties of enhanced hydrocarbon production deploy the use of heat in the extraction process to thin the oil. This have included, historically, Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) and In-situ Combustion. However, research continues to reduce emissions from these processes and create new technologies that can create heat chemically or through renewable means.
Dynamic Reservoir Characterization. Effective characterization of reservoirs has always been the key to improving recovery rates and lessening environmental impacts of production. In the past twenty years, such characterization has moved forward in leaps and bounds with new computer modeling technologies, big data, and the advent of artificial intelligence for the shaping of that data into effect and dynamic mathematical and physical models. R&D in this area in the past few years, in particular, has led to some fascinating research papers in the EOR TCP database.
Emerging Technologies. Emerging technologies are just that – methods of EOR that are cutting edge, innovative and lead to emissions reductions and better energy efficiencies during extraction of hydrocarbons.