Advantages of Unit Operation in New Pools
- I.L. Dunn (Dunn-Lewis Oil Recovery Co.) | James O. Lewis (Dunn-Lewis Oil Recovery Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1926
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 177 - 194
- 1926. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.3.4 Scale, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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By unit operation is meant the developing and operating of oil pools underone management so as to make possible the application of the best principles ofbusiness, engineering, and science. The proposal is to do away with thedivision of ownership of the oil underground based upon property lines at thesurface and to recognize the fact that a pool of oil is a natural andindivisable unit that should be operated as such for the common good. But asunit operation upsets the customs of the industry and affects public policy, itis encumbent upon those of us who advocate it to show beyond reasonable doubtthat unit operation will result in worthwhile gains to both the property ownersand to the public. The purpose of the writers is to set out briefly theirconceptions of the benefits to be derived from unit operations in new poolswithout reference to any of the proposed means of consolidating the properties.Use is made of both their own experiences and of the proposals of the manyothers who have written or spoken on this subject.
Natural conditions vary widely in the different oil fields, and the exactmethods of unit development and operation must be varied accordingly. Also theeconomic value of unit operation will vary, being exceedingly large under someconditions and much less under others. It is not possible nor desirable in thispaper to cover more than the commoner conditions and to illustrate by someexamples, nor is this paper to be considered more than a preliminarypresentation on the subject for present methods of the industry are based uponcompetitive recovery, and it therefore is necessary for the industry to developby research and experience new concepts and methods for operating undernon-competitive conditions.
The most common type of oil pool is the one sand pool. The size may be froma few acres to several square miles. The oil is saturated with gas dissolvedunder pressure and the oil area is surrounded by water. When the pressure hasbeen taken off the pool, the production declines and leaves the largerproportion of the oil to be recovered by artificial means. Sometimes thesurrounding water encroaches and flushes much of the oil out of the sand, butmost commonly such encroachment is negligible. Less commonly there will be anexcess of gas not held in solution, which will be found as an area of free gasoverlying the oil or occupying the higher parts of the structure.
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