Carbon dioxide injection starts in Oklahoma’s Burbank oil field

Carbon dioxide injection began June 6 into giant Burbank field in Osage County, Okla., in a 30-year project the operator expects to recover 88 million bbl of oil.

Chaparral Energy Inc., Oklahoma City, has invested nearly $250 million in the enhanced oil recovery project out of an estimated field-life expenditure of more than $1.4 billion. The 23,000-acre North Burbank Unit is the single largest producing unit in Oklahoma.

The company is moving CO2 from a fertilizer plant in Coffeyville, Kan., to Burbank in an 8-in., 68-mile, 60 MMcfd pipeline. A 23,500-hp compressor station in Coffeyville feeds the CO2 to Burbank, west of Pawhuska, Okla.

Chaparral estimated that its EOR project will increase the recovery factor by 10-15% from the NBU, which has produced more than 319 million bbl of oil since its discovery in the 1920s.

About 120 EOR projects in the US account for more than 350,000 b/d of oil or 5% total domestic crude production. The US Department of Energy estimates that 1.5 billion bbl of oil have been produced since 1986 using the CO2 EOR process and that more than 1 billion bbl of oil reserves booked as proved reserves associated with CO2 EOR projects.

In the Midcontinent region, primarily Oklahoma, an additional 10.6 billion bbl of oil are technically recoverable via CO2 EOR, DOE judges.

Chaparral said it operates 10 active CO2 EOR projects in the US, the third largest number of any company (OGJ, Apr. 2, 2012, p. 36). The company operates 386 miles of active pipeline to deliver CO2 to its various fields and has an existing CO2 supply of 90 MMcfd. It also holds a large acreage position in the Northern Oklahoma Mississippi lime oil play.

Marland Oil, later to become Conoco, discovered North Burbank in 1920. During the decade-long boom, Phillips Petroleum Co. leased land in Burbank from the Osage Tribe and built a refinery in the area.

Jack Graves, a geologist, was the first to identify additional recoverable oil reserves in the field while working for Phillips in the 1950s. Graves would go on to found Calumet Oil Inc. and acquire the majority stake in the field before selling to Chaparral in 2006 (OGJ Online, Sept. 20, 2006).

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