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In the coming years, the hydrocarbon industry will face a series of dilemmas. Chief among these is meeting the demand—for decades to come—to deliver hydrocarbons as energy and feedstock. Yet, the industry must also achieve a balance between rising costs, market price pressures, and environmental impact.

Given these dilemmas, we must ask: over the next 30-50 years, how can we recover more oil and gas from difficult carbonate reservoirs, reach higher ultimate recoveries, and limit environmental impact while keeping the profits high enough to ensure sufficient income for hydrocarbon-dependent economies?

The KAUST Research Conference: Recovery of Difficult Hydrocarbons highlighted and explored the overall scenario, looking for technical solutions to enhance recovery from complex oil & gas fields at low costs and environmentally sound with focus on the greater Middle East hydrocarbon province.


The main subject of the conference was improving the description, understanding and modeling of the storage and flow of hydrocarbons in the subsurface: matrix storage, properties and flow, natural and artificial fractures, impact of pressure changes. Participants gained a more comprehensive understanding of the overall state of the industry. Our objective was to map out possible contributions from different technical fields for improved, integrated reservoir development, and to establish a view on what each technical field needs to focus on to provide overall progress for future hydrocarbon reservoir development.

Technical Program

The conference featured thirty-nine presentations by renowned experts in industry and academia. More than one hundred attendees participated, including faculty, students and researchers from leading institutions worldwide, as well as industrial participants.