Jim Letourneau's Blog

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Facebook Comments on Wavefront's Powerwave

Lots of discussion about the Powerwave video on Facebook. More than on the original YouTube site, so I thought I'd share it here. Powerwave won't stop peak oil but if implemented on a wide scale it could radically change the shape of "Hubbert's Curve".

I'm a petroleum geologist, I know the process works as warranted by Wavefront's management, and it is my largest personal shareholding. That makes me very biased. Suffice it to say, if someone doesn't understand subsurface fluid flow they're going to have a hard time understanding the numerous advantages of Powerwave.  I try to stick to the facts but I get the sense that some people don't want to hear them.

Wavefront (WEE.V) released quarterly financial statements and management discussion and analysis today. I think they've made great strides over the last few years but they are still a very early stage company.


Jim Letourneau wrote
at 2:22pm on March 10th, 2008

In Rodney South, Ontario, Powerwave has been shown to increase injection rates by an approximate factor of five versus conventional injection. Injectivity index, a measure of the volume of water injected per psi pressure, was 0.11 without Powerwave and 0.52 with Powerwave.


More info here - http://www.squidoo.com/wavefront

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 9:37am on May 21st, 2008

Wavefront Energy and Environmental Services Inc. has provided Powerwave results from installations continuing since October, 2007, with an international oil producer in Alberta. Oil production from the three patterns increased by 57 barrels of oil per day (bopd) (11 cubic metres per day) from 132 bopd (21 cubic metres per day) to 189 bopd (31 cubic metres per day). The increased oil recovery is apportioned to 15 producing wells in three production patterns where the technology is actively deployed and further upside potential may be realized by increasing gross fluid production.

Jimena Diaz (Salt Lake City, UT) wrote
at 10:47am on May 26th, 2008

very interesting

Bob Cruz (MSU Bozeman) wrote
at 11:44pm on June 5th, 2008

This is an absolutely incredible video. I want to work with these people! I used to be a petroleum geologist - now I am in film school seeking to educate the Great American Public about Fossil Fuels (among other Earth Science issues). That's what it's all about: education - via visual media.

Abdullah M. Al-Shwadfi (United Arab Emirates) wrote
at 12:33am on July 11th, 2008

Absolutely incredible to be able to recover 15-20%+35%

very interesting technology

Michael Dann (San Diego, CA) wrote
at 7:06pm on July 26th, 2008

This is a worthless marketing video with almost no technical information presented.

Eric Stobbart wrote
at 11:13pm on July 26th, 2008

It's important to know who the video is targeting. It isn't targeting professionals in the industry, because as Michael points out there is nothing of technical substance offered. It's obviously an investor relations video. Draw your own conclusions.

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 1:18pm on July 27th, 2008

Actually Michael, the video isn't worthless at all. It introduces a novel technical concept that many people are unaware of. Thousands of people have watched it.

Many people watch the video and then do their own research.

Wavefront's website "http://www.onthewavefront.com" has numerous press releases documenting successful applications. Should you wish to learn more about how the process works you could read "Thermophysics of Porous Media" (and numerous research papers) by Tim Spanos.

Johan Lesser (Sweden) wrote
at 5:03am on July 28th, 2008

I don´t think this technology would help much to avoid peak-oil. Only pushes ahead a few more years. And with increasing oil deman...Well ,add 15-20 % of the time its to peak oil. If peak oil is in 10 years and you add 15-20 % more time peak oil is here in 12-15 years instead of 10.
Somhow this dosn´t fell right...Can anyone point out some errors in my statement ?

Johan Lesser (Sweden) wrote
at 5:05am on July 28th, 2008

Btw : When was this video released and why ? As said above, it don´t seem to be for industries. Ignorance/denial of peak oil ?

Katy Duke (Bristol) wrote
at 4:32am

..and my negative comments about this video have been removed YET AGAIN! Where is the science? Where are the costs? Where is the proof?

Michael Dann (San Diego, CA) wrote
at 12:11pm

The advertisement gives the false impression that all you need to do is buy their product and you will increase the recovery factor for your reservoir. It also gives the impression that this is somehow a new and innovative technology. Neither is the case.

Reservoir geography determines which secondary and tertiary recovery techniques will be most effective as well as the ultimate recovery.

Seond, pressurization as a secondary recovery method is standard operating procedure. Nothing new or innovative. Neither is the process of 'pulsing' the pressure 'like a heartbeat,' to reduce static friction and increase flow rates. Secondary recovery volumes are typically already accounted for in the estimate of recoverable reserves held by the operators. Meaning that in practice, unless "Powerwave" is significantly better than all the other nearly identical secondary recovery methods on the market, there will be no gain in the ultimate recoverable reserve figure.

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 12:55pm

"Injectivity index, a measure of the volume of water injected per psi pressure, was 0.11 without Powerwave and 0.52 with Powerwave."

This is a major innovation. In layman's terms, "pressurization" can occur 5 times faster. More importantly, the injected fluids travel more uniformly throughout the reservoir which allow unswept oil to be recovered.

Reservoir heterogeneity does determine which reservoirs are suitable for secondary recovery programs. If a reservoir is not suitable for waterflooding it will not be suitable for Powerwave. Since Powerwave is used as an addition to pre-existing waterfloods, implementing Powerwave recovers additional reserves (ie more than would be recovered by water flooding alone) and allows them to produced more quickly.

Powerwave and Primawave are patented processes.

Michael Dann (San Diego, CA) wrote
at 3:43pm

Adaptation by the marketplace is the key sign of success. Call me back when you're rolling around rich from the stock offering.

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 3:53pm

They are well financed and their investors have done very well:


Wavefront Energy and Environmental Services Inc. has completed its sale of 9,641,052 units of the company at a price of 95 cents per unit for gross proceeds of $9,158,999.

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 5:09pm

For the Alberta Powerwave project first announced June 27, 2008, prior to the installation of Powerwave in the three waterflood patterns where it is employed, production levels were on a steady decline of approximately 2.3% per month. The production level in December 2006 was approximately 164 bopd (26.07 m3/d) and declining to a value of 135 bopd (21.46 m3/d) at the time of the Powerwave installations in September 2007.

In the ensuing six months of Powerwave enhanced injection ending May 2008, production levels had increased to approximately 220 bopd (34.98 m3/d). Assuming the injection patterns had continued on their natural decline of 2.3% per month (without Powerwave) during the same six month period it is estimated that the production levels would have decreased to 120 bopd (19.11 m3/d).

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 5:10pm

In the environmental sector Wavefront is buoyed by the progress Primawave is achieving in the marketplace. The process has been utilized by several of the largest United States environmental consulting firms and service contractors to great accolades.

“Primawave and the associated Hornet tool represent the first truly new innovative technology for the delivery of treatment fluids in the environmental sector in the past ten years”, commented Mr. Pat Hicks, Ph.D., Technical Director of Zebra Environmental, a specialized environmental contacting company based in Lynbrook, NY. “Zebra and its clients have successfully used Primawave in challenging subsurface environments where conventional methods have proven ill-effective. There is no question Primawave will be in great demand in the environmental marketplace.”

Scott Graham (Heidelberg) wrote
at 8:26pm

I think I'm with Michael Dan on this one. From the video, I cannot tell at all what makes this product different from what is already being done in the field.

Is it just me, or is this nothing more than pumping water into the resevoir at varying rates?

Jim Letourneau wrote
at 10:20pm

Implementation of Powerwave Technology in injection wells has resulted in no less than an immediate 40% injectivity index increase and as high as 9 Fold.

That means up to 9 times as much fluid can be injected *over and above* what was injected using conventional methods. Increasing the injectivity index means that the volume of injected water is increased without increasing the injection pressure. Too high an injection pressure can create fracturing which is detrimental to waterfloods. Powerwave is a patented process that can only be used with the permission of Wavefront.

More importantly, high water injection rates are not beneficial if there is poor conformance. If the water channels from injector to producer it bypasses the oil (or contaminant) reducing the overall recovery factor. That is why roughly 2/3rds of the world's discovered oil is still stuck in the ground. The video illustrates the improved conformance when Powerwave is implemented.