An Expanded Matrix to Scope the Technical and Economic Feasibility of Waste Heat Recovery from Mature Hydrocarbon Fields

Al-Mahrouqi, J. and Falcone, G. (2016) An Expanded Matrix to Scope the Technical and Economic Feasibility of Waste Heat Recovery from Mature Hydrocarbon Fields. In: 41st Annual Stanford Geothermal Workshop, Stanford, CA, USA, 22-24 Feb 2016,

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Substantial volumes of water are co-produced with hydrocarbons during the latter stages of an oil or gas field’s producing life. Such volumes require costly treatment schemes and inevitably force operators to cease field production, which leaves potentially recoverable hydrocarbons in the ground. However, the flowing temperature of these waste streams is high enough for it to be exploited for district heating and/or power generation. This opens up opportunities for mature hydrocarbon fields with the potential of extending their lifespan, improving their ultimate recovery, providing an alternative renewable low carbon energy source and reducing their operational expenditure. With several feasibility studies and pilots supporting the feasibility of this concept, the objective of this paper is to identify key technical and economic parameters of waste heat recovery from mature and abandoned hydrocarbon fields, both onshore and offshore. These are translated into a set of indices, forming a practical screening matrix for geothermal feasibility. With reference to an existing decision matrix (Soldo and Alimonti, 2015) which was designed to select between two heat extraction technologies, the new matrix is an expanded version, with wider applicability. The feasibility evaluation is initiated by building a database that encompasses 17 oil and gas fields in 4 countries; USA, Italy, China and Poland; making it the largest available for this type of study. Characteristic parameters for operating conditions and economic viability are extracted from the database and implemented in the matrix via 6 new indices and 2 modified indices. Two applications of the modified matrix are presented: ranking the geothermal potential of 4 candidate oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin and selecting the best end use for the recovered heat (district heating, power generation or Combined Heat and Power) for one particular candidate, the Long Beach oilfield. Given the novelty of this concept, the new matrix provides a baseline to assess the geothermal potential of mature hydrocarbon fields in a broader, less regional context. Furthermore, it offers a means of conducting a rapid preliminary evaluation of the technical and economic feasibility of hydrocarbon fields and deciding which of the heat extraction technologies, conversion plans and end uses of recovered heat are most appropriate. By bridging geothermal and petroleum engineering, a new outlook is established for thousands of mature hydrocarbon fields worldwide.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Falcone, Professor Gioia
Authors: Al-Mahrouqi, J., and Falcone, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record