IIT-M develops technique to recover oil from offshore wells

Chennai: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras are developing indigenous processes for efficient recovery of oil from mature offshore wells. In India, domestic crude oil production is currently insufficient to meet the nation’s energy demands. Last year, the Indian Government approved fiscal incentives for enhancing oil and gas recovery from ageing and new fields, which can potentially raise the production of oil by 120 million tonnes.

So, IIT Madras researchers are studying the efficacy of an emerging enhanced oil recovery method called ‘Low-Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery’ (LSEOR) by collaborating with research laboratories in Curtin University and Edith Cowan University of Australia. The research is being headed by professor Jitendra Sangwai who specialises in Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Ocean Engineering at IIT Madras.

Speaking about his research, professor Jitendra Sangwai said, “Our research aims to develop indigenous methods for recovery of crude oil from geological reservoirs, which is a complex process. There is still much that needs to be understood in the use of LSEOR methods.”

The core focus area of the research group comprising of students Abhijit Kakati and Nilesh Jha is the study of state-of-art processes used to recover crude oil from offshore reservoirs in India. The research is being funded by IIT Madras and the Indian Government’s Department of Science and Technology. Their findings have recently been published in two journals – Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering and Energy and Fuels.

“Research such as those conducted by Dr Sangwai’s laboratory can help understand and optimize the technique and develop indigenous processes for efficient recovery of oil from mature offshore wells in India,” stated a press release from IIT Madras.

NT Bureau