The purpose of this study is to review the applications of laws of thermodynamic in petroleum system, and how it may be lead to optimum operating conditions and miximize substantially the ultimate hydrocarbon recovery, optimizing at the same time the reservoir energy utilization.

In this paper is shown how thermodynamic concepts such as energy, efficiency, availability function, useful work, and entropy generation were introduced in petroleum engineering to explain losses of fluid energy due to reservoir exploitation.

It was remarked that a proper management of variables such as production or injection rate, wellbore vicinity condition (skin factor), number of wells and their locations, locations of surface facilities, reservoir driving mechanisms, and improved hydrocarbon recovery techniques, all of them from a thermodynamic point of view, should be considered if both the reservoir energy efficiency and its sustentability are a must.

More valuable applications may be extended from the concept of entropy generation, such as its inclusion in reservoir simulation as a post-processing calculus, in order to generate and compare multiple realizations for seeking an optimum operating condition, and maximizing hydrocarbon recovery at the scenario of minimum irreversibility.

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