In an effort to maximize the production potential of Bakken oil wells, the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) is leading the charge in demonstrating the value of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques amidst the current, undulating, oil price market.
Within the span of one year, oil prices have dropped by nearly half, causing oil and gas producers and service providers alike to cut costs and search for ways to do more with less. According to the EERC Solutions Blog, Associate Director for Research at the EERC John Harju believes the oil price decline is prompting the entire industry to drastically reevaluate short and long-term business plans. Harju said, “When people rethink their budgets and consider Plan A, Plan B, or maybe even C or D, you know they are setting priorities right now.”
Despite how the markets may or may not change in the near future, Harju predicts that for the remainder of 2015 and beyond, EOR methods will become common practice, facilitated mostly by the use of multi-well pads. Currently, the EERC is in phase two of its Bakken Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Storage and Enhanced Recovery Program.
By teaming up with industry partners the program is exploring the benefits of using CO2 for EOR. The current phase focuses on laboratory and modeling-based investigations to support the design of injection and production methods. It also targets technical support such as laboratory work, modeling and monitoring to a pilot-scale field demonstration which will eventually lead to pilot-scale injection tests.
Harju said, “We are looking at how we can use CO2 and other injected fluids to get more oil, ideally increasing our recovery by 50 – 100 percent. I think we are at about 4 – 6 percent right now in the Bakken, so the question is, what can we do to get 8 – 12 percent through EOR?” To read the original blog post, click here.