Managing Risk and Uncertainty in the Design and Implementation of EOR Projects

Production and Operations Reservoir Description and Dynamics Projects, Facilities, and Contruction


This course places great emphasis on identifying and mitigating risks and uncertainties associated with EOR. This includes identification of vulnerabilities and hazards associated with EOR processes and applications.  The reasons why some past projects failed are analyzed with the aim of ensuring future applications do not repeat basic mistakes—as sometimes occurred in the 1980’s. Emphasis is also placed on the need for and value of integrated team approaches.

Risks and uncertainties associated with the full EOR project life cycle are the focus of the course. Data acquisition from field and laboratory are addressed with regards selection of the EOR system. The design of a pilot together with the simulation of EOR processes is discussed in detail—with emphasis on defining the criteria of success. The importance of integration of facility design with subsurface knowledge is stressed. Project implementation issues are discussed with reference to several case studies—and the key role of project monitoring and surveillance is stressed and illustrated.

EOR systems studied include:

  • Chemical EOR (polymer, surfactant, alkali, low salinity and wettability alteration)
  • Miscible EOR (CO2, miscible solvent, inert gas and foam)
  • Thermal EOR (steam and in situ combustion)

Course Agenda

Day One

  • Introduction to EOR processes
  • Uncertainties of EOR processes and the baselines
  • Introduction to risk and uncertainty
  • Dependability of data and models in EOR
  • EOR system design under risk and uncertainty
  • Vulnerabilities and hazards in EOR systems
  • Managing risk—the need for process robustness
  • How can we learn from past failures?

Day 2

  • Field risk and uncertainty—we need to innovate
  • Criteria of success—design and timing of pilots
  • Modelling EOR—is reservoir simulation dependable?
  • The need for team approaches and communication
  • Implementation risks—successes and failures
  • Surveillance and monitoring—key to understanding
  • What is needed to manage risk in EOR projects?
  • New developments in EOR and risk management


  • A discount fee of US$200 will be offered to registrant attending both SPE Workshop on “EOR Simulation: Are We There Yet?” and SPE Training Course on “Managing Risk and Uncertainty in the Design and Implementation of EOR Projects”
  • If an attendance is not sufficient for the course by 17 February, SPE reserves the right to cancel the course.

Learning Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Course Length

2 Days

Why You Should Attend

Attendees will learn the principles of EOR and their associated risks and uncertainties for application in the field. Key concepts explained and illustrated with particular focus on their risks and uncertainties include the fundamental EOR processes, screening criteria and reservoir characterization for EOR, design of EOR systems, simulation of processes and pilot project design, facility design, timing and project implementation, and surveillance and monitoring in the field. Attendees will learn the importance of a team approach and communication between disciplines, together with the need to actively manage risk and uncertainty in EOR projects.

Who Should Attend

The course is for reservoir engineers, petroleum engineers, production engineers, facilities engineers, and asset managers who are considering EOR applications in the field and are concerned with the risks and uncertainties involved.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded each day for this 2-day course.


Peter Aird

Alistair Fletcher has been working as a consultant through his own company Parr Systems International Pty. Ltd. for the last seven years. Since October 2012, Fletcher has been working with Azuren-EOR (The Netherlands) as Project Manager and EOR Specialist. He is an experienced petroleum engineer, program/project manager, risk and uncertainty assessor, researcher, and research coordinator. He has thirty years experience with the interfaces of business and academia, and science and engineering.

Fletcher started his career with BP Research and BP Exploration, where he spent 10 years developing and then leading the chemical EOR team. During this time, he was involved with the Forties surfactant EOR project, and the development/application of chemical EOR systems for in-depth profile control systems. From 2004 – 2007 he was an Associate Professor in the Nanochemistry Research Institute (NRI) at Curtin University of Technology—focusing on oilfield chemistry and EOR. Prior to this, he spent fifteen years researching and applying new reservoir engineering concepts, together with application of risk and uncertainty analysis in the oil industry, at CSIRO Petroleum and PSTI (a UK based research institute).

In addition to EOR /IOR, Fletcher has been active in the areas of oilfield chemistry, flow assurance, fluid-rock interaction, core flooding, gas condensates, wettability, uncertainty, decision-making, risk analysis, complex systems, and nanotechnology.