Nanotech 2010

Novel Surfactants for Enhanced Oil Recovery

P.H. Shepard
Novomer, Inc., US

Keywords: enhanced oil recovery, CO2 sequestration, energy security


Despite the advent of numerous alternative energy technologies and fuels, the United States will continue to rely heavily on oil, especially from imported sources, to satisfy its energy demand for the foreseeable future. As there is little debate among oil industry experts that nearly 400 billion barrels of oil lies “stranded” in the U.S., the challenge to improve domestic energy security is to develop Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) technologies with the performance to cost effectively extract this stranded oil. Of all the potential EOR technologies, CO2EOR is the most successful and widely practiced. Novomer is developing breakthrough surfactant technology that can significantly enhance CO2EOR with the potential to more than double the recovery of stranded oil, achieving 94% (3.3 million barrels per day) of the nation’s energy security goal of replacing Middle East and Venezuelan oil with domestic sources. In accomplishing this goal, economic security can be improved by over $230 Billion per year (assumes $70/barrel oil) and this technology also enables the potential for significant CO2 sequestration.
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