Oil company to try unique idea for enhanced oil recovery

Oct 30, 2017

Credit ND Department of Mineral Resources

An oil company wants to try a new technique for enhanced oil recovery.

Liberty Resources will try it in a field near Tioga.

"They want to test what we traditionally would call a 'huff-and-puff' operation," State Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms told the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

The operation involves the injection of field-produced gas, with added hydrocarbons such as ethane or propane.

"That's to see if they can pump those things into these wells, let it soak in and then produce it back, and see how much they can enhance the recovery," Helms said.

Helms saids EOG Resources has used this technique in the Eagleford formation in Texas.

"They (EOG) started with a 32-well test in 2016," Helms said. "They think they've added 300,000 barrels of oil in one year. they are adding 100 wells this year. They're seeing 30-70 percent gains in reserves."

Helms said Liberty will embark on a one to two year pilot project – and if it works, it will expand.  He said this could also be good for coal companies, trying to use carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.

"If ethane works here, CO2 will as well," Helms said.