Enhanced recovery

How Do You Use the Terms IOR and EOR?

How do you use the terms improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery? Complete a simple, three-question survey to share your opinion. The survey closes on 15 October.

The oil pump, industrial equipment
The terms IOR and EOR are not always used the same by everyone in our industry.
pandemin/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I was recently reminded that the terms IOR (improved oil recovery) and EOR (enhanced oil recovery) are not always used the same by everyone in our industry.

While I served as a past co-chair of the SPE EOR/IOR TIG (Technical Interest Group) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we did an unofficial, brief survey on how these terms were used. The figure below shows the three most common uses of the terms at that time, Options 1, 2, and 3.

The results of the earlier survey showed that most subject matter experts in this technology (about 50 to 60%) preferred to use Option 1, but some used Option 2 (approximately ±30%), and a few used Option 3 (±10%). The variation came from different groups that were polled.

Henry (Hank) Ramey, PhD, and William (Bill) Brigham, PhD, both of Stanford University, taught me Option 1, so that is my preference. However, since I believe that our industry should try to be as clear as possible in our communication, I would like to informally poll our community again.

The survey link has been posted in discussions in the SPE Connect technical communities, Reservoir and Production, and on the SPE Research and Development Technical Section.

Please share your opinion by completing a simple, three-question survey. It will remain open until 15 October 2023.

I will do my best to collect and summarize the responses toward the end of October or, if possible, before the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio.