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 MB 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 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 MB, with technical transferability to other similar basins.
Spectral pulsed neutron logs are being collected to determine fluid saturation changes within the reservoir, and deep shear wave acoustic logs are being collected to assess the presence of faults and fractures.
Ongoing technical work includes developing static and dynamic models of the field to estimate rate and volume for CO2 and water injection, as well as laboratory testing to determine the injection style (water-alternating-gas, foam, or pure CO2 flood), minimum miscibility pressure, and optimal injection pressure.
As results are obtained from lab testing and dynamic modeling, firm estimates for CO2 and water needs will be leveraged to establish CO2 supply and pumping contracts.