Utilizing carbon dioxide (CO2) as an energized fracturing fluid is a common practice in Canada. In the United States, however, introducing new methods of enhanced oil recovery and well stimulation usually requires a global oil player to lead the charge.
As reported by Hart Energy’s E&P Magazine, Statoil has a reputation for being open to embracing new and innovative technologies to tackle the big challenges facing the industry. Later this year, Statoil will pursue expanding such innovations and begin stimulation tests on its Bakken acreage using a CO2 enhanced oil recovery method to determine if the process is as promising as its modeling indicates.
According to a Statoil-issued release, the test will be conducted at a well site approximately 15 miles outside of Williston, North Dakota. The trial will evaluate the possible production uplift while reducing the amount of water used in a large, multistage hydraulic fracturing operation. The test will be a step toward the company’s overall goal of increasing the efficiency and sustainability of its unconventional drilling operations in the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Marcellus regions.
As a means to increase the chances of success, Statoil has sought out a partner company for its well stimulation program. The CO2 test is one of several projects being pursued under its Powering Collaboration initiative, the technology partnership between Statoil and GE that seeks to accelerate the development of sustainable energy solutions.Specifics:
“We will use liquid CO2 as the initial fracturing medium because we believe that it will create a more complex fracture network, giving increased surface area, which should increase the ultimate oil recovery,” he said. “Our modeling and laboratory experiments suggest that we could increase recovery by 20% to 25%.
We will then complete the stimulation using a more standard water and proppant pack. By using CO2 for the initial stimulation, we project that we will use 20% to 40% less water than normal in the test phase. Ultimately, as the technology matures, we hope to be able to further reduce water usage in the stimulation process. Providing the test shows positive results, the next phase will be to develop a cost-effective system to capture the CO2 as it flows back and reuse it for stimulating new wells.
This is where the collaboration with GE comes in. Its main part of the project is to use its world-leading engineering and technical expertise to develop this capture and reuse system. We are very excited about this upcoming test phase and subsequent progress of this project, which is one of several exciting new technologies we are developing with GE as part of our Powering Collaboration Initiative,” Tocher said.Meanwhile, the USGS has just released a study on water and fracking across the US. Link here. The article doesn't say much that we didn't already know. I talked about water and fracking ad nauseum when I first started blogging about the Bakken, and occasionally re-visit the issue. For newbies: water is not an issue for North Dakota.
Note to the Granddaughters
Tonight on the nightly news, there was a story about putting peas in/on guacamole. I told our granddaughters I don't want peas on my guacamole and I don't want pee in my pool.
Our 9-year-old is going to make a sign for their swimming pool at home:
"Welcome to our swimming ool. Note there is no "p" in our ool. We would like to keep it that way. Don't put "p" in our ool."