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Title: Subtask – CO2 storage and enhanced bakken recovery research program

Small improvements in productivity could increase technically recoverable oil in the Bakken Petroleum System by billions of barrels. The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in tight oil reservoirs is a relatively new concept. The large-scale injection of CO2 into the Bakken would also result in the geological storage of significant amounts of CO2. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has conducted laboratory and modeling activities to examine the potential for CO2 storage and EOR in the Bakken. Specific activities included the characterization and subsequent modeling of North Dakota study areas as well as dynamic predictive simulations of possible CO2 injection schemes to predict the potential CO2 storage and EOR in those areas. Laboratory studies to evaluate the ability of CO2 to remove hydrocarbons from Bakken rocks and determine minimum miscibility pressures for Bakken oil samples were conducted. Data from a CO2 injection test conducted in the Elm Coulee area of Montana in 2009 were evaluated with an eye toward the possible application of knowledge gained to future injection tests in other areas. A first-order estimation of potential CO2 storage capacity in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota was also conducted. Key findings of the program aremore » as follows. The results of the research activities suggest that CO2 may be effective in enhancing the productivity of oil from the Bakken and that the Bakken may hold the ability to geologically store between 120 Mt and 3.2 Gt of CO2. However, there are no clear-cut answers regarding the most effective approach for using CO2 to improve oil productivity or the storage capacity of the Bakken. The results underscore the notion that an unconventional resource will likely require unconventional methods of both assessment and implementation when it comes to the injection of CO2. In particular, a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms controlling the interactions between CO2, oil, and other reservoir fluids in these unique formations is necessary to develop accurate assessments of potential CO2 storage and EOR in the Bakken. In addition, existing modeling and simulation software packages do not adequately address or incorporate the unique properties of these tight, unconventional reservoirs in terms of their impact on CO2 behavior. These knowledge gaps can be filled by conducting scaled-up laboratory activities integrated with improved modeling and simulation techniques, the results of which will provide a robust foundation for pilot-scale field injection tests. Finally, field-based data on injection, fluid production, and long-term monitoring from pilot-scale CO2 injection tests in the Bakken are necessary to verify and validate the findings of the laboratory- and modeling-based research efforts. This subtask was funded through the EERC–U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Program on Research and Development for Fossil Energy-Related Resources Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC26-08NT43291. Nonfederal funding was provided by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Marathon Oil Corporation, Continental Resources Inc., and TAQA North, Ltd.« less
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  1. Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)
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University Of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)
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United States