Penn State researchers say increasing the time gas molecules come in contact with shale oil would greatly increase oil yields in unconventional oil extraction in shale regions.
Oil companies are missing out on vast sums of recoverable oil in unconventional reservoirs, according to Penn State experts.
The researchers propose that companies are applying tried-and-true transport mechanisms for conventional oil extraction but are hitting recovery stumbling blocks because they are not accounting for the difference in physics found at unconventional reservoirs. Their research was published online in December in the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Journal.
"Unconventional reservoirs are enormous and offer significant hydrocarbon reserves," said Hamid Emami-Meybodi, assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State. "The scale of these reserves means that even a 1 percent change in recovery translates into a staggering quantity of oil. This untapped oil has motivated research on improved oil recovery from unconventional reservoirs using some conventional techniques."
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