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Enhanced Gas Recovery

In contrast with enhanced-oil recovery (EOR), gas recovery is a more recent


consideration. Interest in EGR has arisen in light of the large storage capacity of depleted gas
pools. Nitrogen is an important tool for this. N2 is injected into natural gas reservoirs to
artificially increase pressure which results in more yield from the well. Called "Enhanced Gas
Recovery" (EGR), this process can also be accomplished with other inert gases. In the USA,
carbon dioxide (CO2) sourced from underground wells is an economical alternative.

Sophisticated equipment and complex technologies are required to recover natural gas from
underground reservoirs. But depending on the geology of these areas, this fuel can never be
completely removed. The natural pressure in gas pockets usually limits yield to around 75
percent and a maximum of 50 percent in the case of oil. But there are methods with which
natural gas can still be extracted, even after recovery is quite far along. One useful tool is
nitrogen (N2). According to studies by independent research institutes, nitrogen (N2) or carbon
dioxide (CO2) can be used to increase the pressure in oil and gas fields and thus improve the
output. This reduces delays or drops in the recovery rate.

The mechanism of EGR by injection of CO2 has been studied in a number of numerical
simulation projects. EGR can be effective in depleting gas reservoirs when undertaken at an
advanced stage of depletion, either by reservoir pressure increase or by balanced
injection/withdrawal.

The ideal characteristics of a candidate gas reservoir suitable for EGR by CO2 injection
have been elaborated as follows:

heterogeneity should be relatively low so that incremental gas recovery of


uncontaminated natural gas is high;
gravity stable or quasi-stable displacement should be possible, e.g. high dip, high pay
thickness;
relatively high number of wells, at least 4 to 5, should be utilised in EGR operations; and
the storage effect is highest for certain temperature and pressure conditions.
Naturally flowing well:

A well in which the formation pressure is sufficient to produce oil at a commercial


rate without requiring a pump. Most reservoirs are initially at pressures high enough to allow a
well to flow naturally. When oil flows to the surface without artificial assistance this is known
as natural flow. The reservoir pressure forces oil and gas to the well and hence to the surface
under natural flow. Natural flow can also be kept up by artificially maintaining the pressure in
the reservoir high (by means of water or gas injection in non-producing wells).

Natural flow is the cheapest form of production, which is why every effort is made to
sustain it for as long as possible. Natural flow accounts for most of the worlds oil production but
only a portion of the hydrocarbons are recovered via this means.