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Title: Getty Oil Company Diatomite project

Abstract

The feasibility of using Diatomite as a synthetic fuels feedstock is discussed. The asphaltic outcropping near McKittrick, California are evidence of oil bearing deposits. Two different processes have been taken to the pilot plant stage to evaluate the viability of recovering oil from the Diatomite ore. One approach was the retorting process which was developed by Lurgi. The other process is based on a totally different concept of solvent extracting the oil from the ore. The operation and performance of the pilot plants are described.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Getty Oil Co., McKittrick, CA
OSTI Identifier:
6125292
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6125292
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy Prog.; (United States); Journal Volume: 4:3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
04 OIL SHALES AND TAR SANDS; OIL SHALES; RETORTING; SHALE OIL; RECOVERY; LURGI PROCESS; OPERATION; PERFORMANCE; PILOT PLANTS; SOLVENT EXTRACTION; BITUMINOUS MATERIALS; CARBONACEOUS MATERIALS; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; COAL GASIFICATION; DECOMPOSITION; ENERGY SOURCES; EXTRACTION; FOSSIL FUELS; FUELS; FUNCTIONAL MODELS; GASIFICATION; MATERIALS; MINERAL OILS; OILS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; OTHER ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; SEPARATION PROCESSES; THERMOCHEMICAL PROCESSES 040402* -- Oil Shales & Tar Sands-- Surface Methods

Citation Formats

Zuber, I.L. Getty Oil Company Diatomite project. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Zuber, I.L. Getty Oil Company Diatomite project. United States.
Zuber, I.L. Sat . "Getty Oil Company Diatomite project". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6125292,
title = {Getty Oil Company Diatomite project},
author = {Zuber, I.L.},
abstractNote = {The feasibility of using Diatomite as a synthetic fuels feedstock is discussed. The asphaltic outcropping near McKittrick, California are evidence of oil bearing deposits. Two different processes have been taken to the pilot plant stage to evaluate the viability of recovering oil from the Diatomite ore. One approach was the retorting process which was developed by Lurgi. The other process is based on a totally different concept of solvent extracting the oil from the ore. The operation and performance of the pilot plants are described.},
doi = {},
journal = {Energy Prog.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 4:3,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 1984},
month = {Sat Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 1984}
}
  • Getty Oil Company has developed unconventional oil production techniques which will yield oil from diatomaceous earth. They propose to mine oil-saturated diatomite using open-pit mining methods. Getty's diatomite deposit in the McKittrick field of California is unique because it is cocoa brown and saturated with crude oil. It is classified also as a tightly packed deposit, and oil cannot be extracted by conventional oil field methods.
  • Getty Oil Co. has launched a test program in California to mine a huge deposit of diatomaceous earth. The company will run side by side pilot plants incorporating 2 state-of-the-art extraction processes to extract virtually 100% of the heavy oil contained in the mined material. Economic success of either extraction process would lead to development of a commercial scale mine and plant to yield as much as 20,000 bpd of heavy oil during the next half century. More important success of the Getty project could serve as a springboard for development of other tight, shallow diatomite, oil shale, and tarmore » sands deposits hitherto thought uneconomic. The target is ca 380 million bbl of recoverable 14 to 17 gravity oil locked in tight, shallow diatomite deposits in McKittrick field. That is more than the 218 million bbl of cumulative production from the entire field since its discovery more than 80 yr ago. Although open pit mining of diatomite eventually will cover a 2.5-mile by one-mile surface area, going as deep as 1200 ft, extensive backfilling and reclamation work will leave the landscape restored.« less
  • Getty Oil Co. engineers have concluded that fireflooding combined with water injection will recover up to 50% of the oil in some parts of the Nacatoch reservoir of Bellevue Field, Bossier Parish, La. This conclusion was based on a 4-yr study of a small pilot project on the J.W. Elston lease where the Nacatoch sand is at a depth of 330 ft and is 74 ft thick. The area was selected on the results of a coring program during 1961 by the then Tidewater Oil Co. Core analysis showed the sand section to be separated into 2 major saturation zonesmore » by a 4 to 5-ft lime section. The upper zone contained 1,110 bbl of oil per acre-foot and had a high effective permeability to air, while the lower zone contained 1,632 bbl/acre-ft and had a low effective permeability to air. During April and May of 1963, Getty conducted extensive air-injection tests and found that the lime section separating the 2 saturation zones was not a barrier to vertical fluid flow and the total 74 ft of net sand would have to be considered as a single reservoir when carrying out in-situ combustion operations. Realizing that thermal operations might only affect the upper sand section, Getty started an in-situ combustion operation on a 1-1/4 - acre inverted 5-spot pattern in Sept. 1963.« less
  • Understanding oil gravity distribution in the Belridge Diatomite has led to economic infill development and specific enhanced recovery methods for targeted oil properties. To date more than 100 wells have provided samples used to determining vertical and areal distribution of oil gravity in the field. Detailed geochemical analyses were also conducted on many of the oil samples to establish different oil types, relative maturities, and to identify transformed oils. The geochemical analysis also helped identify source rock expulsion temperatures and depositional environments. The data suggests that the Belridge diatomite has been charged by a single hydrocarbon source rock type andmore » was generated over a relatively wide range of temperatures. Map and statistical data support two distinct oil segregation processes occurring post expulsion. Normal gravity segregation within depositional cycles of diatomite have caused lightest oils to migrate to the crests of individual cycle structures. Some data suggests a loss of the light end oils in the uppermost cycles to the Tulare Formation above, or through early biodegradation. Structural rotation post early oil expulsion has also left older, heavier oils concentrated on the east flank of the structure. With the addition of other samples from the south central San Joaquin area, we have been able to tie the Belridge diatomite hydrocarbon charge into a regional framework. We have also enhanced our ability to predict oil gravity and well primary recovery by unraveling some key components of the diatomite oil source and migration history.« less
  • A large deposit of oil-laden diatomaceous earth in the McKittrick oil field 40 miles west of Bakersfield, California, has resisted all efforts at production by standard means. Getty Oil Co. is in the pilot phase of a project to recover the Diatomite's oil by an open pit mining operation. It also could have significant implications for other California oil fields, possibly setting the stage for the mining of oil sands in shallow fields like Kern River, S. Belridge, and Lost Hills to maximize oil recovery. A report on the project is summarized. The Diatomite is estimated to have 500 millionmore » bbl of oil in reserves, of which 380 million bbl are recoverable. The estimated amount of recoverable oil exceeds the McKittrick field's cumulative production of 240 million bbl. A pilot plant was built to test solvent extraction method of recovering heavy oil. The multistep process involves a series of 6 extractors. The Lurgi retorting plant employs a 2-step heating process to separate hydrocarbons from crushed ore.« less