What Is Unconventional Oil?

Unconventional petroleum generally refers to overweight crude oil, oil sands oil, tight oil, shale oil, etc. The characteristics of this type of oil are: high specific gravity, high impurities, high viscosity, light hydrocarbons, and high production costs. As conventional petroleum resources decrease and production costs rise, unconventional petroleum will be developed and utilized.

According to the relative density (API) and viscosity of petroleum, petroleum can be divided into two categories: conventional petroleum and unconventional petroleum. Conventional petroleum is petroleum with API> 22 and viscosity <100. In addition, it is collectively called unconventional petroleum. Unconventional petroleum has the characteristics of high viscosity, high density, and high content of non-hydrocarbon (sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen and metal) compounds. They are very different from conventional petroleum in terms of extraction, transportation, processing and refining. Unconventional petroleum includes heavy oil, high viscosity oil, oil sands, natural asphalt and kerogen shale. [1]
Because unconventional oil is very different from conventional oil in terms of resource accumulation, it will cause more problems in the development process, including several aspects.
Development and Utilization of Global Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources
The achievements made in the development and utilization of unconventional oil and gas resources are mainly concentrated in the Americas region in the western hemisphere. Among them, Canadian oil sands oil, American shale oil and shale gas, and Brazil's ultra-deepwater oil fields are the most typical.

Unconventional Petroleum Canada Oil Sands Oil

Oil sands oil is a mixture of sand, water, mud and asphalt. In fact, as early as the early 18th century, Canadian Indians discovered oil sands resources and simply used them. By the middle of the 20th century, with the development of technology and the reduction of costs, Canadian oil sands began to be used as an energy resource and entered the stage of large-scale mining and refining. Today, under the macro environment of tight global oil supply and high international oil prices, the development of the Canadian oil sands industry is facing unprecedented opportunities. According to official Canadian statistics, Canada's oil reserves are extremely rich, about 174 billion barrels, ranking third in the world, of which 97% comes from sand oil, which is about 169 billion barrels, mainly concentrated in the Pis River and Cold Lake in the west. And Athabasca, its reserves are eight times the national oil sands reserves. In terms of development methods, there are two main methods of extracting Canadian oil sands resources, namely open-pit mining and underground mining. Thanks Cana
Most of the oil sands in the territory are buried below 70 meters above the ground, so approximately 80% of Canada's oil sands resources are obtained by underground mining.
Due to many years of mining experience, Canada has mastered the technology of oil sands extraction and refining and has maintained the world's advanced level. According to statistics from the Canadian Petroleum Producers Association (CAPP) in 2011, Canadian oil sands oil production in 2011 was approximately 1.6 million barrels per day, accounting for half of total oil production; and by 2025 this number is expected to reach 3.7 million barrels per day Days, accounting for nearly 80% of Canadian oil production. The surge in oil sands oil production (3.43 million barrels per day) put Canada among the top six oil producers in the world in 2011. [4]

Unconventional petroleum shale gas

The United States is the first country to develop and utilize unconventional oil and gas resources. During the Obama administration, with the improvement of technology, the United States has made breakthrough progress in the field of unconventional natural gas, especially with the exploration and large-scale development of shale gas resources. Becoming the vanguard in the field of shale gas development will undoubtedly set off a new revolution in the history of American energy and will open the "new era of American energy." In fact, the United States began to develop shale gas resources as early as the early 19th century, but due to technological constraints, it has not achieved technical breakthroughs in recent years. In order to better encourage the development of unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale gas, in April 2012, President Obama specifically established an "intersectoral working group" to promote the safe development and utilization of unconventional natural gas resources in the United States to coordinate the United States The Ministry of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of the Interior carry out related technical research and resource development. Technological breakthroughs directly promoted the sharp increase in shale gas production. According to statistics from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2011, US shale gas production surged from 0.94 trillion cubic feet in 2006 to 44,600 in 2010. It is estimated that by the year 2035, the production of shale gas in the United States will reach 12.25 trillion cubic feet, while the reserves of shale gas in the United States are about 860 trillion cubic feet, and the development potential is huge.
At present, there are seven major shale gas storage and production locations in the United States, mainly in the south-central and western regions of the United States. The development of U.S. shale gas resources has effectively reduced the number of U.S. natural gas imports. According to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, after 2007, with the maturity and large-scale application of unconventional energy development technologies such as shale gas, The amount of natural gas has dropped significantly. As of 2011, the net import volume of US natural gas has decreased by about 50% compared to 2007; it is estimated that by 2035, the gap between US natural gas production and consumption will decrease from 1.9 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 317.3 billion cubic feet. .

Unconventional oil brazil deepwater oil

Due to the long-term and excessive exploitation of conventional oil and gas resources, the oil reserves on land have been declining, and deep-sea oil has begun to attract attention. In recent years, huge reserves of oil and gas fields have been discovered in the deep and ultra-deep sea areas of southeastern Brazil. These deep-sea oil fields contain about 50-100 billion barrels of oil and gas resources. The discovery of deep-sea oil and gas resources has enabled Brazil's oil and gas reserves to be on par with Kuwait and Russia [5], and has improved Brazil's position in the global energy landscape. In May 2009, Brazil's first ultra-deepwater oil field with an average water depth of 6,000 meters began to produce oil, with an oil output of about 15,000 barrels per day [6]. Since then, Brazil's ultra-deepwater oil production has entered the production phase from the experimental stage. At present, Petrobras has mastered ultra-deepwater oil recovery technologies such as floating oil recovery, oil storage and oil discharge in deepwater oil fields. The technological advances Brazil has made in deepwater oil extraction have significantly increased its oil supply. According to BP's forecast, from 2010 to 2030, Brazil's deepwater oil production will increase by at least 2 million barrels per day, which can effectively make up for the shortage of conventional oil and gas resources. [5]


Did this article help you? Thanks for the feedback Thanks for the feedback

How can we help? How can we help?