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 Louisiana.
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.
Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications