China's foreign oil dependence has been close to 60% in 2014. However, according to the International Energy Agency’s forecast, China's foreign oil dependence would reach 80% in 2040! How to solve it? Perhaps surprisingly, little bacteria could solve this big problem.
“BERO biosurfactant is one of the most effective ways.”( hereafter referred to BERO technology) Hao Duan, founder of ZFA Technologies Inc., is quite confident about it. BERO, developed by Hao Duan and his father, could enhance oil recovery in the tertiary oil recovery by biotechnology. Through 8 years’ production and research updates and pilot experiments including commercial development and experiments conducted on 11 oilfields, more than 200 low-production wells in China as well as Texas and Wyoming in America, with average annual production increase rate above 120%.
Current Situation of Oil Industry.
Is it so magical? Yes! Don’t worry. Let’s firstly get to know the current situation of oil industry.
The latest Domestic and International Oil and Gas Industry Development Report issued by CNPC Economic and Technology Research Institute in early this year has shown that apparent consumption of oil (annual production plus with net imports ) in 2014 exceed 3.7 Billion bbls. But the oil import keeps increasing, and annual net oil import increased by 5.7% to about 2.2 Billion bbls, our dependence ratio on foreign oil reached 59.5%, 1.1 % higher than last year.
Actually, China’s government has speeded up overseas oil-exploring as with the increasing dependence on foreign oil. But as the saying goes, self - help is better than help from others. And the risk is much higher if over half of China's oil that relating to national economic lifeline import from other countries.
And it’s worth to draw lesson from America on this aspect. The foreign dependence on petroleum liquid energy (including oil, liquefied natural gas and ethanol gasoline) of America has dropped to 26% in 2014.While it was higher to 60% in America in 2005. At the same time, there is a rapid growth in degree of foreign dependence on oil from net exports in 1993 up to 59.6% in the end of 2014 in China.
The rapid decline of foreign dependence on oil in America benefits from Energy Independent Revolution promoted by the Obama Administration. President Obama determines to get rid of the heavily reliant on the Middle East and the external oil. He has taken measures on opening offshore oil development, increase biodiesel production, particularly all kinds of new energy replacing supply shale revolution etc.
At present, although the domestic major oilfields intensify exploration, but the demand towards oil is booming in China due to the limited newly discovered reserves. The most worrying problem comes that though the foreign dependence on oil is nearly 60% and it will continue to increase in the future.
From the current crude oil production, the contradiction between supply and demand in our country is increasingly aggravating. In the past five years, the oil demand in China is growing at an average of 20% per year, and China becomes the oil consumption country second only to America. While the oil production keeps increasing at single figures or even lower.
Forecast that the annual crude oil demand would reach to 3.94 Billion bbls to 4.38 Billion bbls at the end of 2015, based on the oil and gas consumption of our country during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan according to the situation of resource and economic development in China by domestic and foreign institutions and specialists. The latest domestic oil production forecast by Ministry of Land and Resources shows that our annual oil production would keep stable before 2030, among which the average annual production in every five years in 2011-2030 is 1.48 Billion bbls, 1.56 Billion bbls, 1.59 Billion bbls, 1.57 Billion bbls with peak production no more than 1.6 Billion bbls. And the production of 1.53 Billion bbls would continue to 2030.
Calculated by crude oil production 1.48 Billion bbls, crude oil demand lower limit value 3.94 Billion bbls, China's foreign oil dependence would reach 62%(self supply rate 38%); If calculated according to crude oil demand high limit value 4.38 Billion bbls, China's foreign oil dependence would reach 66%(self supply rate 34%);
“There are two effective ways to ease the increasingly outstanding contradiction between the oil supply and demand in our country：one is to search new reserves; the other is to enhance the recovery of existing geological reserves. BERO Biosurfactant is one of the most effective way.” Hao Duan, founder of ZFA Technologies Inc., has his viewpoint towards the current situation of oil industry.
“If calculated according to the current oil reserves which have been found in China, recoverable reserves would increase more than 1.46 Billion bbls if oil recovery rate increases one percentage point” Yanhua Liu, the former vice minister in Ministry of Science and Technology pointed out that the basis of ensuring the oil security in our country is to achieve long-term stable development of domestic oil production. So we should rely on advanced technology to strengthen oil and gas field development, rely on scientific and technological progress to enhance oil recovery to exploit the discovered reserves as much as possible.
Great Role of Little Bacteria
Here comes the question. How to solve the problem? It’s little bacteria’s turn to come on the stage.
Probiotics could improve the intestinal environment, inhibit the growth of pernicious bacteria, and restore intestinal balance. That’s the reason why it’s so popular in the market. But do you know? The similar “Probiotics” is also needed in oil exploitation. The “probiotics”, liked by oil, could clean the crude oil which is difficult to exploit in the reservoir, and make the crude oil easier to be exploited.
The scientific name of the “probiotics” is “BERO Biosurfactant”. And its annual production increase rate could reach 120% while the highest production increase record is 540%!
“Excessive dependence on foreign oil and gas could bring potential security risks for the energy supply of our country” says by Hao Duan, the main problems facing the oil industry in China are “production, oil recovery technology, oil recovery rate, production cost and environmental protection ”, “BERO is one of the most effective ways to solve these problems”.
According to the introduction of Hao Duan, oilfields of our country are mainly distributed in continental sedimentary basin, and both changes of reservoir physical properties and the distribution of sand bodies are complex, high clay content, the heterogeneity of reservoir is much higher than that of foreign oilfield, which is mainly marine deposit. Besides, the soil parent materials producing oil in continental basin is terrestrial organisms, with high wax and high viscosity of crude oil. And this continental sedimentary environment and oil conditions increase the difficulty of oilfield development in China so that simply relying on the new block to increase the recoverable reserves cannot meet the needs. Therefore it becomes the problem in need of urgent solution for the sustainable development of China's oil industry that how to enhance oil recovery in order to increase recoverable reserves and extend production plateau of oil well.
What’s more worrying, some oilfields in China currently have entered the middle and later stage of development, while some oilfields are even close to exhaustion. But in fact, there are nearly 2/3 of the oil have not been exploited due to technology or other reasons. And the oil recovery rate in China can only exploit 28% ~ 35% geological reserves under the current technology level. 65%～72% recoverable reserves remain under the ground.
In addition, the national onshore oilfield has entered into high water cut stage with water cut as high as 82% in recent years in China. Oil-water separation and sewage recycle greatly increase the energy consumption, which make oil production cost rise to almost no profit and force part of mature oilfields have to reduce production.
BERO technology, developed independently by ZFA Technologies Inc., provides a good solution to the problems mentioned above. And it could be used in the tertiary oil recovery in oilfield to increase production of mature oilfield by biotechnology.
According to the introduction, through 8 years’ production and research updates and pilot experiments including commercial development and experiments conducted on 11 oilfields, more than 200 low-production wells in China as well as Texas and Wyoming in America, with success ratio above 90%, average annual increased production per well 1000 bbls, average annual production increase rate above 120%, effective time above 12 months.
Hao Duan introduces that after being injected into a well, BERO can rapidly strip wax and asphalt crystallized and accumulated on rock particles in the area of a reservoir close to well and part of BERO adheres to rock surface to make the wettability of the rock become water-wetting, lower the flowing resistance of crude oil in formation voids, thus releasing crude oil from rock particle surface and being separated out from micropores. BERO molecules entering into water can be transported to the area further than the surrounding area of sandstone formation and form new oil outlet passages in sandstone formation so as to clean production well in oil reservoir, plugging removal and injection reduction of water injection well, plugging removal and stimulation, displacement and improving oil recovery rate.
Put simply, crude oil could be easier to recover after cleaning treatment on oil reservoir by BERO biosurfactant.
Compared with other oil extraction methods, MEOR (microbial enhanced oil recovery) has its incomparable advantage, which is environmental friendly. Polymer flooding technology, in the chemical flooding area, has higher performance price ratio. But it has highly toxic pollution to soil and water resource. While BERO is got by microbial fermentation through high temperature, and its composition is protein enzyme.” It belongs to MEOR, and it’s only a catalyst to transform bacteria to protein, non - toxic and pollution-free” says by Hao Duan
Of course, the great advantage is its production increase rate. Many experiments have proved that average increased production rate of BERO Biosurfactant is above 120%.
Take BERO’s application to the Zhongyuan Oilfield in Henan Province as example, production increased from 6.862 BOPD to 19.272 BOPD with production increase rate of 180%; Its application in Wunan Oilfield in Qinghai Province, production increased from 16.863 BOPD to 36.135 BOPD with production increase rate of 114%; And application in Yanchang Oilfield in Shaanxi Province, production increased from 1.752 BOPD to 5.767 BOPD with production increase rate of 229%...
The highest production increase record is that a well of the Second Oil Production Plant in Karamay Oilfield, the highest daily production is 12 times as high as the previous production, annual increase 1,969 T(14,177 bbl) with the average annual increase rate 540%.
Bright BERO Prospects as Domestic Efforts to Step up Environmental Protection
The technology of“BERO Biosurfactant” of ZFA Technologies Inc. is quite popular in foreign market. And ZFA has signed several commercial contracts in America after the successful test in Wyoming. Besides, ZFA has increased some partners abroad through word-of-mouth effect because of obvious effect.
Now the clients of ZFA Technologies Inc. include European listed oil companies, American independent oil developers, as well as Petroliam Nasional Bhd etc. But apparently Hao Duan does not rest here. He wants to promote this technology which could create economic benefits as well as avoiding secondary pollution in China after seeing the government attaching great importance to environmental protection on Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee.
“In terms of market acceptance, it’s much easier to promote in America than in China.” says by Hao Duan. And that’s the reason why he chose American market initially. But instead he begins to increase the promotion in domestic market as with the technology’s successful promotion in American market. Hao Duan says as oil is in great demand in China, too high foreign dependence on oil is not conducive to long-term development while nonstandard over-exploitation has considerable damage to the environment, so he must bring this good technology back to enable our country to achieve energy independence and be self - sufficient in oil in the future.
“We have R & D department in Suzhou City, and the primary laboratory in Suzhou has the small-scale production of 500T in and we will set up a plant with annual production of 5000 T, which is enough to support us for 5000 oil wells stimulation in such scale.” Hao Duan expressed that it’s ZFA’s development direction over the next few years to shift the R&D focus to China and increase the investment in China.
At present, ZFA Technologies Inc. has conducted a wide range of technological test as well as stimulation cooperation with Daqing Oilfield, Jilin Oilfield, Karamay Oilfield, Nanyang Oilfield, Zhongyuan Oilfield, Qinghai Oilfield, Yanchang Oilfield etc. in China. Now it has achieved obvious economic benefits and social benefits, won the extensive recognition and praise of customers in various oilfields.