Opinion: No More Early Retirement for Oil Fields

Reviving and extending old fields is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than drilling.

Today’s recovery technology has extended the life of wells, fueling huge leaps in EOR efficiency and predictability. (Source: ESal)

For more than 100 years the oilfield paradigm has been, “Drill, Baby, Drill.” In the early days, that was necessary as fields were drilled, developed and depleted. The only way to grow the industry then was to drill more holes. With incomplete data, some of those holes paid off but most of them didn’t.

But a funny thing happened on the way to developing and depleting—‘depleted’ wells were still hoarding two thirds of their oil, there just wasn’t technology to free it.

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