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Chemically Enabled Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery in Multi-Porosity, Hydrothermally Altered Carbonates in the Southern Michigan Basin
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The goal of this research project is to conduct a comprehensive laboratory experiment, computer modeling, and field testing-based evaluation of chemically enabled carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) in the Southern Michigan Basin (MB)—with a focus on the conventional Trenton/Black River (TBR) play. This work will be conducted in the complex multi-porosity (i.e., matrix, vuggy, and fracture porosities) and/or hydrothermally altered dolomite (HTD) reservoirs developed along fault systems. The results of this research will help to provide strategies to improve oil recovery in complex carbonate formations and development plans for historical plays, thus increasing the likelihood of the application of EOR methods for similar reservoirs and numerous operators across a wide range of reservoirs and fields.


Battelle Memorial Institute - Columbus, OH 43201


The TBR is a giant play (>100,000 Bbl/day production at its peak) in southern Michigan with a great potential for undiscovered hydrocarbons. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates recoverable reserves of 824 MMBO and 1.4 TCF of gas from the TBR in the Michigan Basin that have yet to be discovered, making the TBR a significant resource for future development. The complex, multi-porosity (i.e., matrix, vuggy, and fracture porosities) and/or hydrothermally altered dolomite (HTD) TBR reservoirs which are developed along fault systems are especially challenging for EOR due to heterogeneities and compartmentalization, the presence of thief zones, and the lack of conformance. Injection of pure carbon dioxide (CO2) alone may not be effective in recovering stranded oil, and the addition of surfactants and other chemicals may assist in overcoming challenges posed by multi-porosity reservoirs. This project will address these challenges through advanced field characterization, integrated physics-based machine learning and data analytics, laboratory tests to determine the right additives to CO2, and optimized field tests for CO2-EOR performance.


These results will be used to conduct scale-up assessment, CO2 source analysis, and economic analysis, which will lead to a field development plan for the HTD play. Project results will demonstrate the feasibility of advancing CO2-EOR with chemical additives to overcome heterogeneous porosity in the TBR in southern Michigan and provide a path forward for future development. The project will help reinvigorate depleted oil fields in HTD type reservoirs in the Michigan Basin, with technical transferability to other similar basins.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)
  • Developed an integrated data base for improved geologic characterization and machine-learning based predictive models. Computed effective porosity log, water saturation, derived permeability from core data and Timur Coates equation.  Battelle also collaborated with NETL to collect core data from CT scans, XRF, Velocity and plugs.
  • Conducted preliminary seismic analysis with well ties and horizon mapping, attribute analysis, and fault interpretation.
  • Conducted a wellbore integrity assessment in the Albion-Scipio field to screen for potential issues.
  • Drilled the McCann 1-20 well and collected basic and advanced logs from the well. 
  • Evaluated the nearby Napoleon Field as a potential backup site for the injection test and for development planning. 
  • Minimum miscibility pressure testing was performed by the University of Texas – Austin using chemicals supplied by Sasol; in addition to the testing of multiple chemicals to add with CO2 mobility.  The project team is leaning toward using foam injection.
  • Delivered Napoleon core to University of Texas – Austin to continue testing.
  • Received and analyzed additional data in the Napoleon field to help identify a well pair.
Current Status

The production on the McCann 1-20 well was not suitable for an EOR project, therefore, the project will use an existing well pair in the Napoleon field for the field injection testing. Battelle is working with project partners to finalize the target well pair and will continue characterization and modeling of the area. The data collected around the McCann well will provide useful input to the Development Strategy Plan requirement of this project. Injecting testing is currently expected to begin in Summer of 2022.

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DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL – Kyle Clark ( or 304-285-5052)
Battelle Memorial Institute – Dr. Neeraj Gupta ( or 614-424-3820)
Battelle Memorial Institute – Christa Duffy (  or 614-424-5785)