Improved oil recovery (IOR) is the extra oil recovery achieved beyond what is described in the plan for development and operation (PDO). With current production plans, more than half of proven oil resources on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) will remain in the subsurface. Awarded by the Research Council of Norway after a national competition, the National IOR Centre of Norway (NIORC) started up in December 2013. The Centre's goal was to develop new knowledge and technology in order to increase recovery beyond projections under today’s PDO. The IOR Centre is led by University of Stavanger, with research institutes NORCE and IFE as core research partners. Several other research groups, 9 oil and service companies complete the Centre's list of partners and collaborators. The Centre has contributed to the implementation of environmentally friendly technologies for improving oil recovery on the NCS.
The R&D activities initiated by the National IOR Center has led to the development of several novel software tools that can help the industry to understand what happens in the reservoir during current water injection and new IOR methods and to transfer understanding gained from lab-scale to field scale simulation and/or optimization of real-life field operations. There is a commercial potential for these innovative digital tools, both for IOR/EOR (enhanced oil recovery) but also for future sustainable reservoir usage such as CO2/H2 storage and geothermal energy production. A good foundation for further commercialization is established through the project. In the process, we have gained a much clearer picture of what is expected of the different solutions for it to be interesting for the industry and a much clearer picture of the way forward towards a commercial market.
The main outcome of the project is that it gave us a much clearer understanding of the ownership of the developed software and a clearer picture of potential business models and the process of further commercialization of solutions developed through the IOR Centre. This implies:
- Due diligence of Software code and IPR as the solutions through many years have been
developed in cooperation between Norce, UiS and IFE.
- Through dialogue with several oil operating companies/potential customers regarding the
developed IOR we have got a clearer understanding of market needs and required fits between
software solutions and existing workflows. We also got a clearer understanding of expected
technical improvements before commercial versions can be launched in the market.
- Through discussions with existing service providers/potential distribution partners for the IOR
solutions, we gained better insights in possible distribution models and possible partnerships.