Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Peak Oil and getting Heavy Oil....

From Conrad via email:

There are some discoveries that may mitigate the Peak Oil crisis. The University of Bath has developed a new way to extract oil. The Institute of Oil and Gas Problems have a new theory of how new oil can be found from exhausted wells.

After 17 years of research, the University of Bath has developed Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI) system. It can be used to extra heavy oil in a more affordable and efficient way. Heavy oil is hard to extract because it can be either a thick, syrup-like liquid or it can be solid. THAI injects air into a vertical well, then ignites it. The heat reduces the thickness so it go through a nearby horizontal well. Thus 70 to 80 percent of the oil can be recovered instead of the 10 to 40 percent with the systems that we are still using now. Here is the Science Daily article:


The Institute of Oil and Gas Problems developed a theory that there is a pool of fluids that moves in cavities and fractures of rock deep underground. One of those fluids is oil. The earth's crust vibrates, then that oil moves, sometimes to oil fields that were previously exhausted. One example is the Romashinskoye oilfield in Tatarstan. Researchers have found that oil field filling with more oil. So, searching in old oil fields may be more profitable than going to someplace new.



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