2. The Bakken petroleum system is noted for low primary recovery rates of 3- to 5 percent of the original oil in place; and, while the jury’s out on exactly how much additional oil can be extracted using secondary and tertiary techniques, the recovery rate in the Bakken likely will be substantially lower than in conventional reservoirs.
“I don’t think you will ever see the kind of rates that you do in the very early production history of these wells,” John Harju, associate director for EERC, said in an interview. “But we are very optimistic that you will be able to increase rates from the very long, slow declines that we see on these wells.”
The EOR technique that is attracting the most new market interest is CO2 injection. In the United States, there are about 114 active commercial CO2 projects that together inject over 2 billion cubic feet of CO2 and produce over 280,000 barrels of oil daily.
Whiting Petroleum operates two large conventional enhanced oil recovery projects in Texas and Oklahoma, where both water and CO2 are injected into the formation.
EERC Harju envisions a Bakken petroleum system that eventually will produce a minimum of 1 million barrels of oil per day, compared to the current 575,000 barrels per day.
“I think the big question is how long can it stay at a million barrels a day,” he said. “Can it be 20 years? Can it be 30 years? The work that we are doing is very much focused on improving that lifetime and improving that productivity, all of the time.”
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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