The oil production from any well passes through three stages. The first stage is the natural extraction of oil under the well pressure, the second stage starts when the well pressure decreases. This second stage includes flooding the well with water via pumping sea or brackish water to increase the well pressure and push the oil up enhancing the oil recovery. After the first and secondary stages of oil production from the well, 20–30% of the well reserve is extracted. The well is said to be depleted while more than 70% of the oil are left over. At this stage, the third stage starts and it is called the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or tertiary recovery. Enhanced oil recovery is a technology deployed to recover most of our finite crude oil deposit. With constant increase in energy demands, EOR will go a long way in extracting crude oil reserve while achieving huge economic benefits. EOR involves thermal and/or nonthermal means of changing the properties of crude oil in reservoirs, such as density and viscosity that ensures improved oil displacement in the reservoir and consequently better recovery. Thermal EOR, which is the focus of this paper, is considered the dominant technique among all different methods of EOR. In this paper, we present a brief overview of EOR classification in terms of thermal and nonthermal methods. Furthermore, a comprehensive review of different thermal EOR methods is presented and discussed.

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