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TitleCO2-enhanced oil recovery mechanism in Canadian Bakken Shale
AuthorBizhani, MORCID logo; Ardakani, O HORCID logo; Hawthorne, S BORCID logo; Cesar, JORCID logo; Kurz, B; Percival, J BORCID logo
SourceMinerals 12, 6, 779, 2022 p. 1-19, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20220197
Mediadigital; on-line
File formatpdf
ProvinceManitoba; Saskatchewan
Subjectsfossil fuels; carbon dioxide; gas storage; underground gas storage; shales; oil; oil shales; Bakken Shale; Williston Basin; Devonian; Mississippian
ProgramEnergy Geoscience Clean Energy Resources - Decreasing Environmental Risk
Released2022 06 19
AbstractThe recovery factor in unconventional reservoirs is typically 5-10%, with extensive hydraulic fracturing and infill drilling to maintain the production rate. Concurrently, the rush towards decarbonization is opening up new possibilities for CO2 utilization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) being one example. CO2-EOR in unconventional reservoirs presents an opportunity for both financial gain through improved recovery factors, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the produced oil. In this work, we examine the CO2-EOR potential in 4 organic-rich shale samples from the Canadian Bakken Formation. A number of characterization tests alongside CO2 extraction experiments were performed to gain insight into the controlling factors of CO2-EOR in these ultra-tight formations. The results show CO2 can penetrate the tight rock matrix and recover a substantial amount of hydrocarbon. Concentration gradient driven diffusion is the dominant form of recovery.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Shales are abundant and comprise a huge portion of proven oil and gas reserves. While hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked these resources 2 decades ago, the recovery rates are much lower than in conventional reservoirs. Concurrently, the movement toward decarbonization of the energy industry is pushing the energy industry for innovative approaches to reduce its carbon footprint. One of these solutions is to capture and inject anthropogenic CO2 into hydrocodone-bearing shale formations for improving recovery as well as sequestering the CO2 in the process. It is estimated that a barrel of oil produced in this scheme can have as much as 63% less carbon footprint. Additionally, the additional recovered hydrocarbon can be used for hydrogen production. Technical challenges, however, have hindered the large-scale deployment of such an approach to date. One of these problems is the lack of knowledge about mechanisms by which CO2 penetrates the ultra-tight matrix of shales. In this study, we look at this using an experimental approach, targeting the Bakken Formation.

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