Most people probably think of exploration as the main way of finding more oil and gas resources—but in fact, getting more out of existing fields by improving recovery rates (IOR) is just as important.
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Increased recovery—our hidden exploration
We believe increasing recovery rates is just as important as exploration of new acreage, especially on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Our continuous innovation has made us a world leader in increasing oil and gas recovery. On the NCS, we have increased the average oil recovery rate on our fields to 50%, well above the worldwide industry average of 35%.
Research and technology are critical success factors to achieve safe operations and get the most out of our fields in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. If we are to further increase the recovery rate and reach a goal of 60%, we have to crack more codes and develop our toolbox. Immobile oil, complex reservoirs and falling reservoir pressure are some of the challenges that demand new and innovative solutions.
That is why half of our research and development budget has been earmarked for improved recovery. A dedicated improved oil recovery (IOR) centre in Trondheim, Norway, gives us a unique opportunity to solve future IOR challenges. Around 3,000 Statoil employees are hard at work on initiatives to extend the life of our fields.