American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

This paper was prepared for the Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Denver, Colo., April 7–9, 1975. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made. provided agreement to give proper credit is made. Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.

Abstract

United States patents are summarized which relate to thermal (external and in situ), hydrocarbon miscible, surfactant and micellar flooding processes useful in tertiary recovery. The review includes a discussion of the pertinency of patents to the current state of the art, ownership and probable future impact.

Augmenting domestic crude reserves is a major problem facing the oil industry today. A second problem is the selection of the most efficient mechanism for producing these reserves. This paper examines various publications, paper examines various publications, primarily United States Patents, to primarily United States Patents, to select the most potentially efficient processes. processes. The examination is made from a number of points of view. These include the viewpoints of government administrators, research planners and petroleum engineers. The administrators and planners have common problems. They must planners have common problems. They must forecast where the available research and development funds can be most profitably invested, and whether it would profitably invested, and whether it would be more profitable to take a license under existing technology or to attempt to develop new technologies. They must, after an evaluation of United States patents, determine whether it would be patents, determine whether it would be cheaper to await the expiration of any basic patents held by another or, if lead times are sufficiently long, whether to develop a competing product or process which can be commercialized at process which can be commercialized at the time basic patents expire.

Alternately, there may be gaps in the patented technology which research and development may fill to establish a negotiating position for cross licensing with the owners of the basic patents. If no basic patents can be obtained by anyone, funds can be committed and a commercial position can be established if the research and development are successful.

The petroleum engineer looks at patented technology differently. patented technology differently.

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