Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Bakken – Where We’ve Been and Where We are Going

  • 2019 Technical Conference Program
  • May 28, 2019
  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am

WBPC 2019 Abstract #35


The Bakken is reported to contain over 300 Bbbl of original oil in place (OOIP). Considering primary recovery of Bakken reservoirs is typically <10% of OOIP, even modest improvements in incremental oil recovery could increase the ultimate recovery of Bakken resources by hundreds of millions to billions of barrels, and extend the life of the play by decades. While the use of waterfloods for EOR in the Bakken has had success in Saskatchewan, the tighter and more oil-wet nature of the Bakken on the U.S. side of the play have made EOR more challenging. Several pilot tests have been conducted in North Dakota and Montana using water, CO2, and rich gas as the working fluid. Those tests have shown that while injectivity is not a problem, maintaining injection conformance within the target reservoir is a challenge. An overview of the approaches and lessons learned from recent EOR pilot tests in the Bakken will be presented. The application of those lessons to the future of EOR in the Bakken, and ideas for innovative solutions, will be discussed.