Saudis and chevron to use steam

Chevron and Saudi Aramco said last month that initial results from a pilot project steam injection to extract heavy crude, could boost the kingdom’s estimated reserves

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By  O&GME Staff Published  August 1, 2006

Chevron and Saudi Aramco said last month that initial results from a pilot project steam injection to extract heavy crude, could boost the kingdom’s estimated reserves by ‘tens of billions’ of barrels. Earlier this year, Chevron began injecting steam into fields in Wafra zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to loosen sludge-like heavy oil that was previously considered not financially viable. The trial, which Chevron aims to extend to additional wells, is a test of Saudi Arabia’s heavy-oil potential. Oil from Wafra fields is shared equally by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is part of the global scramble to boost oil production and has raised some eyebrows in the oil world about the cost and accessibility of Saudi Arabia’s reserves. The world’s biggest oil producer claims about 260 billion barrels of reserves, nearly a quarter of the world’s total. KSA oil minister Ali Al Nuaimi said many heavy-oil fields in his country are not included in the reserves total. If steam injection works, it would add ‘tens of billion of barrels’ to Saudi reserves, Al Nuaimi said. Chevron has experience in steam injection from heavy-oil fields in California and Indonesia.

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