South Louisiana Enhanced Oil Recovery/Sequestration Demonstration Project


Blackhorse Energy LLC
Award Number:  FE0006823
Project Duration:  10/01/2011 – 09/30/2016
Total Award Value:  $15,640,265.00
DOE Share:  $11,500,000.00
Performer Share:  $4,140,265.00
Technology Area:  Storage Infrastructure
Key Technology:  Characterization Field Projects (Onshore & Offshore)

Project Description

Blackhorse Energy, LLC is evaluating the early Eocene-aged Wilcox formation located in
Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The Wilcox formation is a mature developed oil reservoir
(named the Livingston Reservoir) approximately 10,000 feet below ground surface. The
depositional environment for this formation is a beach/barrier nearshore marine bar
(Figure 1). The reservoir has been undergoing traditional secondary EOR techniques
(waterflooding) to increase oil production since 1987. This project will utilize tertiary

EOR techniques by injecting approximately 52,000 metric tons
of supercritical CO2 and CO2 foam into the formation. The foam
will be developed using a surfactant based additive that tends
to reduce the mobility of CO2 by creating a foam like structure
in-situ. This will both advance the oil recovery process, examine
and prove the suitability of South Louisiana geologic formations
for large-scale geologic storage of CO2.
This small-scale injection project will use remote time-lapse
monitoring to measure, track, and assess how effectively
overlying zones contain the injected CO2, determine the physical
and geochemical fate of CO2 in the reservoir, and refine the
storage resource estimate. Other MVA tools that will be used
to monitor the migration of injected CO2 include advanced
logging tools and fiber optic technology. Innovative injection
well design will test the ability of short-radius, horizontal
well technology to increase geologic storage of CO2 in the
reservoir by increasing the available injection length within the
reservoir. The monitoring and existing field production wells
will be leveraged for data gathering to further characterize
and understand the Wilcox depositional environment in south

Project Benefits

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
is supporting small-scale field projects (injection of less than 500,000 metric tons of CO2
per year) to explore various geologic CO2 storage opportunities within the United States
and portions of Canada. DOE’s small-scale field projects efforts are designed to validate
the CO2 storage capability in various depositional systems within the potential storage
types. Understanding these different storage classes provides insight into how their
depositional systems influence current fluid flow within these reservoirs and how stored
CO2 would be anticipated to migrate through the storage reservoir for a larger volume
commercial scale project. The data gathered during these small-scale field projects
provide valuable information about specific formations that have not been extensively
evaluated for CO2 storage potential. DOE’s Carbon Storage Program strategy includes an
established set of objectives applicable to small-scale projects, including (1) confirming
storage resources and injectivity; (2) validating the effectiveness of simulation models
and monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA), and assessment technologies; (3)
developing guidelines for well completion, operations, and abandonment in order
to maximize CO2 storage potential and mitigate any potential release; (4) developing
public outreach plans and communicating the benefits of carbon capture and storage
(CCS) to stakeholders; and (5) satisfying the regulatory permitting requirements for
small-scale CCS projects.
Existing small-scale field projects have been conducted by the Regional Carbon
Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) during their Validation Phase. These small-scale tests
have provided valuable data, but complex issues surrounding the processes associated
with geologic CO2 storage and monitoring across various types of formations and
depositional environments still remain. Due to the need to further understand CO2
behavior in various formations and depositional environments, NETL’s Carbon Storage
Program is supporting additional research to augment the information gathered during
the Validation Phase RCSP small-scale field projects. Blackhorse Energy, LLC will inject
supercritical CO2 into a beach barrier bar complex in southeastern Louisiana to evaluate
the formation for long-term CO2 storage potential and supplement existing enhanced
oil recovery (EOR) activities.

This effort supports the NETL Carbon
Storage Program goals described in
NETL’s Carbon Storage Technology
Program Plan. Specifically, it supports
goals for small-scale injection studies
that include:
• Confirming storage resources
and injectivity estimates for
candidate storage target formations.
• Validating the effectiveness of simulation models and
(MVA) technologies to (1) predict and measure CO2
movement within geologic storage formations and (2)
confirm the integrity of the seal formations that prevent
the upward movement of CO2.
• Developing guidelines for well completion, operations, and
abandonment in order to maximize CO2 storage potential
and mitigate any potential release.
• Developing public outreach plans and communicating the
benefits of CCS to various stakeholders.
• Satisfying the regulatory permitting requirements for
small-scale CCS projects.
• Gathering information to improve estimates for storage
capacity that could be used to update regional and
national storage resource and capacity estimates.
This project supports these goals through its efforts to better
understand CO2 injection, migration, and behavior using
emerging technologies and its effort to demonstrate that
carbon storage projects can be performed safely and effectively
in Gulf Coast Basin reservoirs. Specifically, this study will further
support research and development of geologic CO2 storage
opportunities within the beach/barrier near-shore type of
depositional environment while supporting efforts to utilize CO2
to increase petroleum yield from reservoirs. These reservoirs
represent potential storage opportunities in an area that leads
the country in industrial CO2 production, increasing both the
viability and likelihood of deploying carbon sequestration
technologies within the state.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
William Aljoe:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 

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