secondary recovery | Energy Glossary

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secondary recovery

1. n. []

The second stage of hydrocarbon production during which an external fluid such as water or gas is injected into the reservoir through injection wells located in rock that has fluid communication with production wells. The purpose of secondary recovery is to maintain reservoir pressure and to displace hydrocarbons toward the wellbore. The most common secondary recovery techniques are gas injection and waterflooding. Normally, gas is injected into the gas cap and water is injected into the production zone to sweep oil from the reservoir. A pressure-maintenance program can begin during the primary recovery stage, but it is a form or enhanced recovery. The secondary recovery stage reaches its limit when the injected fluid (water or gas) is produced in considerable amounts from the production wells and the production is no longer economical. The successive use of primary recovery and secondary recovery in an oil reservoir produces about 15% to 40% of the original oil in place.

See: enhanced oil recoverygas capimproved oil recoveryprimary recoveryreservoir pressuretertiary recoverywaterdrivewaterflooding