Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussions may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.


During the past 20 years members of the petroleum industry have proposed more than petroleum industry have proposed more than fifteen new or novel recovery methods for increasing the ultimate oil or gas recovery. This paper is a general review of these new methods. A simple description of the new and improved recovery processes and their range of application is presented.

The methods discussed include wet combustion, forward combustion, reverse combustion and combustion with fuel injection. The miscible process of high pressure gas, enriched gas and LPG slugs, are covered. Use of micellar solutions, alcohol and foam flooding is covered.

The application of atomic bombs for well completions is discussed.


A new oil recovery method was field tested near Throcknmorton, Texas approximately 35 years ago. The new method of steam flooding was to launch thermal oil recovery methods on their way. It seems that very little work in new oil recovery methods was underway until following World War II. At that time oil recovery by insitu combustion, steam drives and miscible high pressure gas recovery programs occupied considerable interest in some of the research laboratories.

At the present time thermal oil recovery takes on many different forms of operation, steam drives, hot water floods, forward combustion, forward wet combustion reverse combustion, combustion with fuel injection, combustion followed by waterflooding are all different aspects of the thermal recovery portfolio. Steam soaking should be included portfolio. Steam soaking should be included since it has been demonstrated to be a process which will increase the ultimate oil recovery method in economic times. In a similar manner miscible displacement now includes five different processes.

The purpose of this paper is to review a large number of these new recovery methods and provide an indication of their likely range of application.

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