We tried out ETCT technology on over a hundred, mostly several decades old, heavily-watered, and shut-in wells in Russia. The results far exceeded our expectations. Production increased by at least double and, in some cases, as much as fifteen-fold, as compared to pre-treatment values.
In Texas, ETCT was applied on a well in Texas, USA, that had been shut down since 1999, with a 99.5% water-to-oil ratio (WOR). When the well was originally opened 25 years before, initial production was 35 barrels per day, gradually decreasing to zero, despite all efforts to push the oil to neighboring wells. After the ETCT treatment, the well immediately produced 38 barrels of oil per day (more than when new!), and the WOR was reduced to below 60%.
For Lukoil, an old, non-productive well in the north of Russia was treated (47% WOR). This was heated to a stable temperature of around 300°C (about 600°F). Approximately 20 tons of chemical reagents were pumped continuously into the well over several hours. We calculated that some 75 GJ (38 million BTU) of heat was released, and the chemicals all converted to gases. Temperatures quickly reached the target value, slightly above around 300°C (600°F), and were maintained at this level, entirely at our control.
The well produced 695 extra, incremental tons of oil extracted over the next 90 days, resulting in a net profit exceeding USD 1 mil. in the first three months. Two years after treatment, production still remained 30-40% above pre-treatment levels.
This large-scale demonstration proves that we are able to quickly and safely pump a (practically) unlimited amount of reagents, while fully regulating the process.
Calculation: 100 tons of inexpensive, widely-available materials can heat around 3000 m³ of formation by 100°C. When oil moves through the formation towards the well, one cubic meter of formation heated by 100°C cools to the original temperature when approximately one cubic meter of crude oil passes through it. 3000 m³ is roughly 20,000 barrels.
Furthermore, the intense heat extends several meters in all directions, melting paraffins, resin, tar, asphalt, that have accumulated over the last million or so years. This extends the productive life of the well, and ensures maximum recovery (reducing residual ‘leftover’ oil to as low as 10%).
Old, shut-in wells can be re-opened and made productive again. The increase in production continues steadily for many months, up to two years, and it continues to be relatively high even when the collector cools down. Then, the well is ready for another ETCT treatment.
We are ready to demonstrate our technology on oil fields anywhere in the world.