Graduate Seminar - Improved Oil Recovery for Unconventional Shale Oil Reservoirs

Friday, November 09, 2012 from 03:30 PM to 04:30 PM

Please join us at 3:30 p.m. Friday, November 9, 2012 in Keplinger Hall, room #M2, for the McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering's Graduate Seminar featuring Dr. Todd Hoffman, Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Mines.


Unconventional shale oil reservoirs, such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Niobrara, have been a bright spot in U.S. domestic oil production over the last decade. Extended reach horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing have allowed these resources to be efficiently developed. The wells come online at relatively high rates for onshore lower 48 fields (up to 1,000 STB/day), but the production drops off quickly and the recovery factors are very low - typically less than 10%. This indicates the need for some improved recovery methods. In conventional reservoirs, water flooding is the main choice for increasing oil recovery by providing pressure support and sweeping oil to the production wells, but the low permeability may prevent water flooding from being effective for shale oil reservoirs. For these kinds of reservoirs, gas injection techniques appear to be promising. This presentation describes work being done to model CO2 and hydrocarbon gas injection into the Elm Coulee field in eastern Montana. The results are encouraging with the most efficient scenarios more than doubling the recovery factor from single digits to almost 20%. The positive outcomes are generating further research interest in modeling additional scenarios and in performing fluid and core lab experiments, which will also be discussed in this presentation.

Rami Younis
(918) 631-2426