Technology Comparison

The main competing technologies to Binary mixtures are Hydraulic fracturing and Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) / steam injections with five spots.

The big advantage of binary mixtures over other technologies is the lower cost and the wider area of well characteristics.

 

 

Criteria Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) Hydro fractures Binary mixture
Principle Heats the formation with steam to lower viscosity Cold liquids require strong pumps to fracture formation Heats the formation to lower the viscosity of the oil and uses reactions to create steam and pressure
Damage to well Rapid water-logging Rapid water-logging Limited water-logging
Production over time non-economical after approx. 30-35%% of the oil is recovered non-economical after approximately 35-40% of the oil is recovered non-economical after approximately 50-70% of the oil is recovered
Energy loss approx. 25% to heat water and transfer to well (can be bigger depending on depth of formation) strong pumps (> 10,000 hp) required Negligible loss from friction pressure during pumping
Depth limits 800-1000m with conventional tubing (deeper with costly thermo-insulated tubing) Depends on well construction and strength of pumps. No natural limit Unclear. Deepest wells treated so far at 3500m
Temperature reached 250°C Not applicable From 100-500°C, fully regulated
Investment Large upfront investment Moderate Moderate
Production cost USD 50-60 BBL USD 40-60 BBL USD 10-35 BBL
Environmental friendliness Water pollution and exhaust gases in atmosphere High water consumption Limited; by-products are nitrogen, water, and CO2
Repeatability Increasing water content lowers economical effect Repeated stimulation has lesser effect Can be repeated multiple times are applied continuously as a drive. Decrease in efficiency with depletion of reservoir.