This report assesses the potential of enhanced recovery techniques for extracting oil (conventional techniques can extract only 10 percent of the estimated 300 billion barrels of oil in the U.S.) from sandstone and limestone formations in which it is trapped. The methods for doing this include injecting steam, chemicals, or carbon dioxide to either break the oil loose and push it up or make it easier to flow. At current world prices, enhanced oil recovery methods could yield from 11 to 20 billion additional barrels of that trapped oil; at oil prices comparable to those required to produce synthetic oil from coal, enhanced recovery methods could increase the yield to as much as 42 billion extra barrels of oil. At the outmost, about 51 billion barrels might be recoverable, assuming the most favorable economic factors and technologies that can now be foreseen. This report discusses the uncertainites in these estimates and assesses policy options available to congress for recovering more oil. /OTA/

  • Corporate Authors:

    United States Congress

    Office of Technology Assessment
    Washington, DC  United States  20510
  • Publication Date: 1978-1

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 238 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00172394
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: OTA-E-59
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1978 12:00AM