24 December

Why Vacuum Insulated Piping is best for Enhanced Oil Recovery

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What is Enhanced Oil Recovery?

Enhanced oil recovery or tertiary oil production entails extraction of oil when extraction using the other methods is impossible. It is essential in oil production because it can increase the production of oil by 75%. This process is employed in oil fields with poor permeability, heavy oil, and irregular fault lines.

Enhanced oil recovery encompasses transforming the true properties of hydrocarbons and using gas or steam to change the structure of the reservoir. EOR can be used after exhaustion of oil wells by both primary and secondary methods. The tertiary method restores formation pressures and increases oil displacement in the oil well.

Types of EOR

Enhanced oil recovery involves gas injection, chemical flooding, and thermal recovery. Chemical flooding assists in releasing trapped oil in the reservoir. Here, polymers, long-chained molecules, are introduced into the reservoir to boost the efficacy of water flooding. Thermal recovery involves using heat in the reservoirs to minimize the oil’s viscosity.

Gas injection encompasses injecting natural gas into the reservoir. These gases can expand or mix with the oil thus increasing flow out of the reservoir. These Producers of oil evaluate each field heavily to determine the type of EOR method to use in recovering oil from the reservoir. They conduct screening, reservoir characterization, and simulation to determine the appropriate EOR method for a specific oil well.

Merits of Vacuum Insulated Piping

  • Low maintenance

Mechanically-insulated piping often losses vapor thus causing the accumulation of moisture and ice, which increases heat leak. However, vacuum insulated piping EOR can remain maintenance-free after installation and using it for many years.


  • Installation

This process is simple and reduces construction time significantly. The prefabricated pipe sections can be reduced by over 75% and the connections made can be easily vacuum-jacketed in a few hours. Since the jacket pipe supports the weight of the spool, the guides and anchors are easy to install.


  • Heat Leak Performance

This piping’s heat leak performance is one-tenth of the mechanically-insulated piping. This advantage minimizes the bio-off gas or BOG steadily in operating conditions. Additionally, the vacuum insulated piping enhances faster cooling time of the machine. Less BOG also reduces the number and sizes of reliquefiers used for keeping up with both off-loading and loading operations. As a result, companies save capital investments and energy costs.