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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Undersea Channels Could Aid Oil Recovery

Cambridge MA (SPX) May 22, 2006
Undersea channels filled with porous material could help extract millions of additional barrels of oil from beneath the seafloor, researchers announced Monday.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Shell Oil's international exploration and production arm said they have been examining such channels, which are filled with highly permeable and porous sedimentary deposits that extend deep below the sea floor.

The structures form when sediment-laden currents flow off the outer continental shelf and into channels on the deep-ocean floor, depositing layers of sand, silt and clay as they go. Over millions of years, the channels can become filled with porous sandstone covered by impermeable mud – creating a perfect trap for oil and gas that seep up from below.

Typically, companies recover only 30 percent to 40 percent of the oil in a given reservoir. Because a single reservoir may contain 1 billion barrels, increasing recovery efficiency by even a single percentage point would mean a lot of additional oil.
read the rest......
Undersea Channels Could Aid Oil Recovery


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