BP is now operating the world’s first robotic coreflooding system as part of its programme of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) research facilities in the North Sea following a successful test-launch in Alaska.
Coreflooding is one of the most important techniques used to identify and evaluate EOR technologies. It measures the effectiveness of water or gas injected into an oil-bearing rock sample to displace oil. This can be used to assess the potential for water flooding in an oil field.
BP has had a large-scale in-house coreflooding laboratory in the UK for many years, where reservoir samples can be tested at high pressure and temperature ‘reservoir conditions,’ and different reservoir types can be evaluated. The new robotic coreflood system operates for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The complete automation and work-flow optimisation in the new Core Flood Robot enables hundreds of coreflood tests to be performed each year, rather than dozens as in the past, and greatly enhances BP’s ability to evaluate a continuous stream of new EOR technologies. This should reduce the time spent developing new technologies by at least 50%
Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s head of upstream technology, explained: “The EOR technologies being developed by BP are vitally important to help increase global oil supplies.
“We believe this step-change in our core-flooding capability will hugely improve the speed and efficiency with which we can deployi new technologies to recover more oil from reservoirs.”
BP is now delivering more than 10% of the world’s light oil EOR production – more than any other oil giant.
Hashmi added: “We believe that EOR holds the key to maximising recovery not only from maturing oil fields but also increasingly from greenfield developments where the most effective sweep-and-displacement at pore-scale can be achieved over the longest available period.”