NEW DELHI: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, along with researratories in Australia, are developing indigenous processes for efficient recovery of oil from mature offshore wells through a project funded jointly by the Institute and the Union government.
The researchers are studying the efficacy of an emerging enhanced oil recovery method called ‘Low-Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery’. Their findings have recently been published in two journals — Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering and Energy and Fuels.
In India, domestic crude oil production is currently insufficient to meet the nation’s energy demands. Last year, the Centre had approved fiscal incentives for enhancing oil and gas recovery from ageing and new fields, which can potentially raise the production of oil by 120 million tonnes.
In line with this expectation, Oil and Natural Gas Corp as been looking at Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques to boost oil and gas output from old and matured fields. Leveraging on modern techniques could enable the country to meet the expected output.
Jitendra Sangwai, who is leading the research said, that the research is aimed at developing indigenous methods for recovery of crude oil from geological reservoirs, which is a complex process.
There have been many studies since the 1990s all over the world, aimed at improving the wettability of oil-bearing rocks for better recovery through water injection.
One way to do this is by reducing the salinity or salt content of seawater that is injected into the rock because the presence of certain divalent cations can change the wettability of the rock.