Hot water flooding is a mature technology that dates back to the 1960's. Although a technical success, heating injected water by burning a fuel proved to be uneconomic in those days. However, using hot water from geothermal sources eliminates the need to burn oil and results in a true increase in ultimate recovery with attractive development costs.

This technique is particularly useful in fields with shallow, high viscosity waxy oil formations and deeper water bearing formations with relatively low salt concentrations. Many oil fields in the Sumatra basin fit this category. Costs to drill geothermal source wells in Sumatra are economic because of the high geothermal gradient observed in the central Sumatra basin (0.03 to 0.04 °F/ft).

This paper shows a novel approach of combining typical waterflood operations with geothermal hotwater sources is not only cost effective for new enhanced oil recovery projects but is also an effective optimization technique for existing waterfloods. A case study of the Balam South Telisa reservoir is presented. Results from two other fields in Sumatra are also shown to illustrate the application of this concept to other fields.

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