Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) brings dead fields back to life. By C. Paul Davis, Titan Oil Recovery Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is gaining acceptance as a means of recovering oil from wells that have reached the end of their lifecycle. Often 50% to 75% of the oil in a reservoir is left in the ground. Thus, recovering additional oil from shut-in wells has the potential to deliver considerable production volumes. Using MEOR, Titan Oil Recovery has achieved some successes over the past four years in recovering oil trapped in oil fields in California and Canada. Recently the company revisited some very encouraging early successes achieved in recovering oil from what essentially were dead oil wells. The results shown below are from a shut-in oil well in California. From 1996 to 2002 when the well was in production, it averaged approximately 16 b/d of oil, but its production declined. During 2003-04, it produced on average 2.0 b/d of oil. In 2004, the well was shut in. The Titan Process was applied three times in 2007-08 to two nearby adjacent injector wells. After seeing oil production increase in adjacent front-line producers, the operator returned the shut-in well back to production, believing the well could benefit from the Titan Process even though it had been considered a non-producing well. In November 2008, the well started producing on average 12 b/d - a 500% production increase from its 2003-04 production average. Well tests for the month of May 2009 confirmed oil production averaged 28 b/d. The well produced more than 5,600 bbl in 2009 and 8,300 bbl in 2010. This represents $1.3 million of additional oil revenue based on $90 oil. These results represented a 1,300% oil production increase over the 2003-04 average and a 75% increase over the 1996-02 production levels. There are more than one million shut-in wells globally (with 285,000 shut-in wells in the US alone). Some percentage of these wells could be returned to production and produce additional oil using the Titan Process.
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