The next big one to tip over into decline will be Saudi Arabia.And, if you have been following this series, then you will understand the basis on which I make the observation that this is, in fact, incorrect. The site uses a plot by Euan (without the link) from back in 2007, though it is credited to 2008.
One of the reasons that I am writing the current OGPSS series is to see how the earlier estimates that we made “back when” are playing out, and, for reasons I have explained both in earlier posts and below, Saudi Arabia is likely still a couple of years away from peaking. No, (to finish the opening thought) the major player who will tip over first is much more likely to be Russia (of which I have written earlier) than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Very simply Russian producers will likely soon yield back global production leadership to the KSA, (though presently still slightly ahead) and further, since they run on maximizing current production, rather than overall field yield, they are not doing the necessary steps to sustain future production which is a growing characteristic of the KSA operations. There are a number of different examples to illustrate this, as I have documented earlier. In addition the KSA seems increasingly interested in developing the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques that have helped other fields in the latter stages of their lives.
In WAG injection, water/CO2 injection ratios have ranged from 0.5 to 4.0 volumes of water per volume of CO2 at reservoir conditions. The sizes of the alternate slugs range from 0.1 percent to 2 percent of the reservoir pore volume. Cumulative injected CO2 volumes vary, but typically range between 15 and 30 percent of the hydrocarbon pore volume of the reservoir. Historically, the focus in CO2 enhanced oil recovery is to minimize the amount of CO2 that must be injected per incremental barrel of oil recovered, especially since CO2 injection is expensive. However, if carbon sequestration becomes a driver for CO2 EOR projects, the economics may begin to favor injecting larger volumes of CO2 per barrel of oil recovered, i.e., if the cost of the CO2 is low enough.And how effective can it be? Consider this plot of production gains in the Wasson field in West Texas.
• It can achieve higher ultimate oil recovery with minimal investment in current operations (this assumes that a water- flooding infrastructure is already in place). The advantage lies in avoiding extensive capital investment associated with conventional EOR methods, such as expenditure on new infrastructure and plants needed for injectants, new injection facilities, production and monitoring wells, changes in tubing and casing, for example
• It can be applied during the early life cycle of the reservoir, unlike EOR.
• The payback is faster, even with small incremental oil recovery.A BP study (Lager, A., Webb, K.J. and Black, J.J.: “Impact of Brine Chemistry on Oil Recovery,” Paper A24, presented at the EAGE IOR Symposium, Cairo, Egypt, April 22-24, 2007. Also Strand, S., Austad, T., Puntervold, T., Høgnesen, E.J., Olsen. M. and Barstad, S.M.: “Smart Water for Oil Recovery from Fractured Limestone: A Preliminary Study,”) showed the following incremental gains over conventional water flooding.
Figure 7. Gains achieved by BP in changing salinity in recovery from different fields (Saudi Aramco ).