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Salym Petroleum Development confirms success with alkaline surfactant polymer (ASP) flooding technology

Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) has produced 3,000 tonnes of oil under a pilot enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project based around injecting a three-component mixture comprising an anionic surfactant, soda and polymer (ASP) into oil-bearing strata — precisely the objective the company was hoping to achieve at the start of the experiment. The oil recovery factor (ORF) at the pilot licence block reached 67 percent, of which 15 percent is attributable to the use of ASP technology. The company will producing oil under this pilot project until its completion in Q1 2018.

Alexey Govzich, CEO, Salym Petroleum Development, commented: “We can now confirm that, from the technical point of view, the pilot ASP project has been successful. We have proved that this EOR technology can be effectively utilised under the conditions of the West Siberian petroleum basin. We will now analyse all information obtained through this pilot project and will shortly present the results of this experiment to our shareholders and to key government agencies and representatives. These will make unequivocally clear the advantages of utilising such methods in responsible natural resources management — the wider dissemination of which now demands a review of the current tax system.”

Yakov Volokitin, Head of Geology and Field Development, SPD, explained: “We deliberately chose a fully developed licence block on which to conduct this experiment. In pilot works, the water cut at those production wells on which SPD was testing ASP technology dropped from 98 percent to 92, with the lowest level achieved being 88 percent. This confirms that ASP flooding can be successfully used at the Salym group of fields as well as other licence blocks with a high water cut, throughout the region.”

Notes for editors

Alkaline, Surfactant, Polymer (ASP) flooding is a promising methodology for improving oil recovery through the injection of a three-component solution (comprising anionic surfactant, an alkali (soda) and polymer) into reservoir rock, whereby the oil recovery factor (ORF) is increased through the injection of a specific chemical mix. The anionic surfactant reduces the surface tension of the oil and, under the influence of the alkali, alters the rock’s electronic charge which, in turn, reduces the loss of anionic surfactant. The polymer is used to increase the viscosity of the solution. This technology is in use in the United States, Canada and China with pilot testing ongoing in several other countries. Salym Petroleum Development (SPD) has been testing this technology since 2008 and has, already, undertaken a range of laboratory and pilot tests. SPD shareholders approved a pilot ASP project in 2012, under which the company constructed seven wells, together with an ASP-component mixing facility, an ASP pipeline and a range of other production and infrastructure facilities.