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United Arab Emirates offshore industry target enhanced oil recovery techniques

Gas/Steam injection

Unlike thermal and chemical techniques, gas injections are used as a tertiary method using natural gas, carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide to mix with the oil to decrease viscosity. The use of gas was first deployed in the 1970s and has since become the most popular form of EOR with US fields employing this technique 50% of the time.

New technology

The offshore industry is constantly looking at new ways to reuse or repurpose assets, just like Claxton Engineering, to sustain and grow output. New technologies are being created despite the consistent challenges that are now synonymous with offshore engineering – space, weight, money and time.

With a number of offshore projects being submitted for EOR already, including the United Arab Emirates, it is anticipated within the industry that new technology will follow.


Of course, targeting a 30% increase in oil recovery in five years is not going to happen without some sort of investment. Speaking on the plans, the US Energy Information Administration said, “EOR is an expensive process, and at current prices, these projects may not be economic… However, despite today’s low oil prices, the industry continues to invest in future production.”

This long-term vision has shown to work in the region already when the Upper Zakum field got a support package of $800 million in 2012. It has since become the second largest oil field in the world, producing 750,000 barrels per day which is a 27% increase from current levels.

Operators in the UAE would hope that EOR techniques planned for the region would have a similar impact on output to meet their 2020 targets.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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