recoverythe initial approach to produce oilnatural reservoir pressure or
simple mechanical pumps are used to raise oil to the surface. Most oil wells
drilled in Alberta today have to be pumped. Primary recovery can range from 0.5
percent to 60 percent of the resource in the reservoir, depending on the
combination of oil and rock characteristics. The average primary recovery rate
is less than 20 percent. This means that a lot of oil would be usually
left in the reservoir.
A number of
methods can improve primary recovery. The most common is infill drilling, which
involves drilling more wells into the same pool so the oil does not have to
travel as far through the rock to reach a wellbore.
Petroleum Communication Foundation. Our Petroleum Challenge: Exploring Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, Sixth Edition. Calgary: Petroleum Communication Foundation, 1999. With permission from the Centre for Energy.