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Agreements Relative to Secondary Recovery Operations, Their Negotiation and Execution, and the Role of the Landman

Raymond M. Myers, Proceedings of 6th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1961)

A very brief non-technical discussion of a few of the fundamental principles of petroleum engineering as they affect secondary recovery operations is a necessary prelude to the subject assigned me. This will lead to a short description of secondary recovery operations and then to the agreements that are used in these operations.

Engineers have long known that there are several natural sources of energy in oil and gas reservoirs which may be used in the production of oil and gas. These may be classified as dissolved gas drive, hydrostatic pressure, and the force of gravity.1 Mr. William J. Murray classifies them as (1) dissolved gas drive, (2) gas cap drive, and (3) water drive.2

Gas serves two functions in the production of oil. When dissolved in oil it decreases the viscosity and surface tension of the oil permitting it to flow more easily through the rock. In addition, gas tends to expand, [246] thus driving the oil to the bore of the well which is the point of lowest pressure. With reduction of pressure, gas tends to come out of solution, and this produces the expansive force just mentioned, but at the same time it increases the viscosity and surface tension of the oil.3 Therefore, the proper regulation of pressure is essential.

Water moves more freely through oil formations than oil, due to its lower viscosity. Where, therefore, water is in conta