A comprehensive review of thermal enhanced oil recovery: Techniques evaluation

Esmail M.A. Mokheimer*, M. Hamdy, Zubairu Abubakar, Mohammad Raghib Shakeel, Mohamed A. Habib, Mohamed Mahmoud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The oil production from any well passes through three stages. The first stage is the natural extraction of oil under the well pressure, the second stage starts when the well pressure decreases. This second stage includes flooding the well with water via pumping sea or brackish water to increase the well pressure and push the oil up enhancing the oil recovery. After the first and secondary stages of oil production from the well, 20-30% of the well reserve is extracted. The well is said to be depleted while more than 70% of the oil are left over. At this stage, the third stage starts and it is called the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or tertiary recovery. Enhanced oil recovery is a technology deployed to recover most of our finite crude oil deposit. With constant increase in energy demands, EOR will go a long way in extracting crude oil reserve while achieving huge economic benefits. EOR involves thermal and/or nonthermal means of changing the properties of crude oil in reservoirs, such as density and viscosity that ensures improved oil displacement in the reservoir and consequently better recovery. Thermal EOR, which is the focus of this paper, is considered the dominant technique among all different methods of EOR. In this paper, we present a brief overview of EOR classification in terms of thermal and nonthermal methods. Furthermore, a comprehensive review of different thermal EOR methods is presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number030801
JournalJournal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors of this article highly appreciate and acknowledge the support provided by the DSR of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) through the Internal Funded Project No. IN151010.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 by ASME.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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