GreenZyme® Enzyme Enhanced Oil Recovery
GreenZyme is a biological liquid enzyme—a protein-based nonliving catalyst—that is used to enhance production of oil in wells, release oil trapped in sands, remove sludge from crude oil-bearing transfer and storage vessels, and aid in the cleanup of accident sites and contaminated areas. GreenZyme is proven to stimulate depleting oil wells to produce higher volumes over a longer period of time than if left untreated. GreenZyme typically increases well production by 90% or more, and often doubles crude oil output. GreenZyme may be used to increase production of oil from wells that have been treated, or have resisted, other methods of enhanced recovery including chemical, thermal, and microbe treatments.
GreenZyme is a product of Apollo Separation Technologies, Inc. Invented in the early 1990’s by Dr. Philip Lau, PE. Ph.D., GreenZyme was initially developed as an aid in the cleanup of oily sludge at EPA Superfund sites throughout the United States. Since 1999, GreenZyme has been in continuous use as a production stimulating catalyst in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. GreenZyme is the world’s first bio-enzyme catalyst used in EOR and has treated thousands of wells.
GreenZyme is non-toxic, non-pathogenic, environmentally safe, and requires no special handling. GreenZyme has a near-neutral pH (5-7). It is biodegradeable and requires no cleanup or disposal. Because GreenZyme is safe, it can be transported as non-regulated cargo. This allows GreenZyme to be rapidly shipped to customers anywhere in the world by passenger air carrier.
Treating a well with GreenZyme is a simple process and requires only a large mobile mixing tank and a high-pressure pump capable of 5,000 PSI. GreenZyme is mixed with produced water (saline/brine) at a ratio of between 1% and 10%, then pumped into the well through its casing-tubing. The well is capped for three days (standard duration) to allow GreenZyme to distribute and release the oil. Normal production is then resumed. Produced water that has been treated with GreenZyme requires no special handling or disposal.
A typical treatment enhances production for a period lasting from 18 months to more than 3 years. GreenZyme only releases crude oil catalytically. This results in a much longer effective span of enhancement than other methods of EOR. By way of comparison, the effective span of enhancement of a chemical EOR treatment is typically between 3 and 9 months. GreenZyme produces a significantly higher daily output than most other technology-based EOR methods.
Suitable Fields and Wells
GreenZyme performs successfully in a wide range of onshore and offshore fields. Suitable fields include:
- Sandstone formations
- Limestone formations (GreenZyme + acid)
- Tar sands
Suitable well types include:
- Sufficient formation-pressure oil wells (SFOW)
- Insufficient formation-pressure oil wells (IFOW)
- Broken formation pocket wells (BFPW)
- Waterflooding wells
- Single huff-and-puff wells
- Steam-injection wells
- Chemical fracturing wells
- Acid-treated and hot oil–treated wells
- Chemical EOR-treated wells
- Thermal extraction wells
Well Selection Criteria
GreenZyme may be used successfully in any well candidate. However, optimum results will be achieved in wells that meet the following criterion:
- Initial production: >100 BOPD
- Current production: >20 BOPD
- Porosity: >15%
- Water cut: <80%
Preferred well candidates include:
- Strong wells that have recently experienced severe decline in production, but are still economically viable.
- New wells with rapid decline in production.
- Wells with clogging problems.
- Depleted wells producing far below the original daily production levels, but originally produced hundreds to thousands of barrels of oil per day.
- Wells that may have experienced successful primary, secondary, and tertiary recovery methods, but are now producing far below original production levels.
- Wells that now produce excessive amounts of water, but water is less than 85% of total fluid output.