DEFINITION of 'SteamOil Ratio'
The steamoil ratio (SOR) is a metric used to quantify the efficiency of oil recovery processes based on types of steam injection. The steamoil ratio measures the volume of steam used to produce one unit volume of oil. The lower the ratio, the higher the efficiency of the steam use. As technology improves, less steam is required to produce an equivalent barrel of oil.
BREAKING DOWN 'SteamOil Ratio'
The steamoil ratio helps establish guidelines for efficiency in oil recovery and production. The ratio explains how well a certain steam process works compared with others. If a steamvalue ratio for cyclic stimulation, for example, would produce values of 38; the steamvalue ratio for steamassisted gravity drainage (SAGD) on the other hand produces values in the 25 range. Therefore, steamassisted gravity drainage is a more efficient process that would have lower related fuel costs for the steam generation.

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