The Selective Electric Reservoir Heating process is designed to increase oil recovery by employing an alternating electric current to heat portions of the reservoir that are normally bypassed by injected fluid. A radial model is proposed for estimating the distribution of heating under somewhat idealized conditions, and a technique is suggested for estimating the percentage of current that is flowing in strata adjacent to the oil zone.
We have been investigating the possibility of using an alternating electric current to heat portions of an oil reservoir that are normally bypassed by injected fluids(1,2). Canadian and U.S. patent applications are pending on the process.
Electric heating is accompanied by water injection, and the process is expected to increase oil recovery in a waterflood. In a pattern flood, the application of heat to parts of the pattern that are normally bypassed by injected fluids will usually improve the mobility ratio at the displacement front, because the viscosities of most crude oils are more temperature-sensitive than the viscosity of water.