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Total is pioneering enhanced oil recovery techniques with its tried-and-tested approach using compact modules. This flexible skids solution can be applied to numerous situations, both on and offshore, to rapidly carry out pilots at reduced cost.

Alexandre Goldszal

Oil Facilities

Philippe Cordelier


Modular automated skids facilitating the implementation of EOR techniques - Best Innovators 2016 - Exploration Production - Total

With conventional recovery methods, on average almost 65% of the oil is left in the reservoir. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has become key to increasing these recovery rates, at a time when access to energy is becoming ever more critical. What is the best way to demonstrate the relevance of EOR processes, as quickly and as simply as possible, in order to boost production and reduce technical costs? This is the challenge Total has had to overcome to establish itself as an industry leader in chemical EOR and “smart” water injection.

Total is now the obvious choice of partner for these processes thanks to its innovative approach – since 2013, we have been working on a solution that facilitates the deployment of chemical EOR and water injection through the use of modular equipment. A multidisciplinary team consisting of sub-surface and surface professionals has managed to develop equipment that is compact, fully automated, easily combinable, and easily transported and stored in standard iso-containers. The speedy and cost-effective roll-out of these skids meets our benchmark standards, HSE requirements, and desire for operational excellence all at the same time. A further advantage is that they can be applied to a diverse range of scenarios and specifications.

A Concept That's Far From Crude

These skids have been conceived for use both on land and at sea. Their design has benefited from the very latest R&D results, especially in the field of EOR architecture, and from our own operational experience, such as in the Dalia polymer pilot (2009-2012) and the ABK surfactant-polymer pilot (2015). These stand-alone modules can be built in less than twelve months, and brought and integrated on-site in a matter of weeks. They connect to each other with ease and therefore only have one input/output, along with the electric power cable.

We are providing this innovation to teams responsible for preliminary projects, operational subsidiaries, our partners, and various national companies. And our efforts are paying off, with the concept being increasingly used to help kick off EOR projects.

Several Intervention Models In the Pipeline

The rental solution appears to be the most attractive business model for short-term projects, for example for certain single-well projects. In these cases, Total will be responsible for the investment. The skids could be temporarily stored at the Platform for Experimental Research at Lacq (PERL) in France and rapidly deployed to sites anywhere around the world. For larger-scale and longer-term multi-well pilot projects, however, it would be more efficient to purchase the skids outright.

The development of this turnkey, compact modular equipment is a significant advancement for the industry. This new technology makes it easier and cheaper to use the most sophisticated EOR techniques, and optimize them for actual site conditions. This expertise could prove to be a game-changer in years to come, and could play a decisive role in cementing Total’s strategic positioning in a highly competitive environment.

  • 3D view - One of the C-EOR skids.
  • 3D view – One of the C-EOR skids
  • 3D view – One of the C-EOR skids
  • Skids for water treatment
  • Skids for Chemical EOR

Best Innovators

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An Essential Link in the Exploration & Production Chain


Chemical EOR: an Ever-Growing Field of Application