Aloe based gel for EOR has advantages over other polysaccharides

Aloe based gel for Enhanced Oil recovery (EOR) has advantages over other natural polysaccharides

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) is a well know practice in the oil and gas industry for use in reservoirs.

Once the primary and secondary recovery methods have been applied, the tertiary recovery is an additional option.

This option is also known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), with several specific techniques, such as chemical flooding, gas injection and thermal recovery.

A displacing substance is added into the reservoir through the injection well to displace the remaining oil.

Chemical flooding includes the addition of water with some chemicals (surfactants and polymers) to enhance the oil displacement ability.1

When the production well is established, only 20-60% of the potential oil can be extracted through the first two phases. 

The implementation of the EOR provides an opportunity to extract up to 30% of the original oil reserve in the well.

EOR at oil wells

Most of the polymers used for EOR fall into two categories: synthetic polymers and biopolymers.

The most commonly used among them are synthetic (PAM) and partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM), the biological polysaccharide, Xanthan, and some modified natural polymers, including HEC (hydroxyl ethyl cellulose), guar gum and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, carboxyethoxyhydroxyethylcellulose.

The synthetic polymer polyacrylamide in hydrolysed form and the biopolymer xanthan are mostly being used for this purpose.

The polyacrylamide is susceptible to high temperature and salinity. Also, its synthetic nature makes it harmful to the environment.

Xanthan gum, a polysaccharide, has very high molecular weight and very rigid polymer chains.

The xanthan gum is therefore insensitive to high salinity and hardness, and  compatible with most surfactants and other injection fluid additives used in EOR formulations.

However, xanthan has two main disadvantages. First of all, it is thermally stable only in the range from 70°C to 90°C, and second, it is very sensitive to bacterial degradation when injected into the field containing low-temperature regions in the reservoir.

Furthermore, it has been reported that xanthan can have some cellular debris that cause plugging.

Both the synthetic polymer polyacrylamide and the biopolymer xanthan are very expensive.

Natural polymers from agricultural and forest produce are abundant in nature, cheap and environmentally friendly.

These agricultural and forest produce contain starch and cellulose which are known to have rigid and long polysaccharide chains that can withstand the harsh reservoir conditions. 

Our aoe based formulation ALOERECOVER™1-BIO is a new and unique green product for use as natural polymer in the ASP (alkali, surfactant and polymer) method of Enhanced Oil Recovery in the oil and gas industry. 

Our aloe based formulation ALOERECOVER™1-BIO is a new green polymer that offers some advantages when compared to other biopolymers:

  • ALOERECOVER™1-BIO offers good viscoelastic properties required by the process
  • ALOERECOVER™1-BIO offers a solution to the scale formation problem
  • ALOERECOVER™1-BIO offers a solution to corrosion
  • ALOERECOVER™1-BIO is not susceptible of bacterial degradation since aloe has many antibacterial and antifungal properties

ALOERECOVER™1-BIO is a plant-based extract, is biodegradable, has no chemicals, toxic components or heavy metals, and comes from a plant that is a renewable material. 

ALOERECOVER™1-BIO is a proprietary formulation, a natural product based on a blend of polysaccharides, enzymes, amino acids and anthraquinones obtained from aloe, with added preservatives. 

You may read more information on our aloe based solution for Enhanced Oil Recovery process at the product specific page.

1 Polymer Flooding for Enhanced Oil Recovery, Georgy Zerkalov, November 27, 2015. PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2015