Background and challenge

L.E.K. Consulting’s client developed a new biopolymer technology that showed promise for use in chemical enhanced oil recovery (cEOR) applications in mature reservoirs. Before going to market, however, the company needed to assess commercial potential and market entry strategies for the new compound. Leadership engaged L.E.K. to characterize the prospective market and help them evaluate partnership options in the global oil and gas space.

Approach and recommendations

L.E.K. assessed the cEOR market worldwide and identified oil and gas fields that were compatible with the company’s novel biopolymer. We also determined which countries and exploration and production operators were most likely to evaluate performance in their reservoirs for further adoption of the new chemical treatment. Our analysis included identifying key client buying preferences and trial-to-field adaption processes for implementing cEOR techniques. 

We screened and prioritized the best opportunities for the company to introduce and test its product in the field, selecting fields in the Middle East, Latin America and the U.S. as the best short-term options. In addition, we evaluated the best go-to-market strategies and recommended the best partnership options. Finally, we selected and recommended the best partners and potential buyers of the technology and provided a detailed go-to-market roadmap. 


The company executed the plan as recommended and completed a successful sale of the technology to the leading global providers of oilfield chemical solutions. The biopolymer is currently being tested in different locations and assessed for reservoir production performance to further evaluate the potential for large-scale implementation.

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