Shell CO2 Co. Ltd., Houston, is preparing to establish a pilot CO2 flood project in a Kansas oil field. The work will be performed jointly by Shell CO2 Co., MV Partners LP of Wichita, and Kansas University`s Energy Research Center.
In late May, the partners submitted a "multimillion-dollar" funding re- quest to the U.S. Department of Energy, Shell said. The move to secure DOE funding furthers an announcement by Shell last year that it planned to investigate the use of CO2 flooding in Kansas fields (OGJ, Sept. 28, 1998, p. 40).
The group is planning a three-phase project to demonstrate the effectiveness of CO2 flooding in Morrow formation fields in the area.
In Phase 1, characterizing the formation and determining flood feasibility would take about a year, says Shell. And Phase 2--injection--would begin shortly after Phase 1 is completed.
"We`ve targeted a Hall-Gurney reservoir in the Lansing-Kansas City field," said Lanny Schoeling, Shell CO2 Co.`s Kansas project leader.
After the injection phase, expected to take up to 4 years, Phase 3 would involve transfer of the technology to industry, says Schoeling.
The group has budgeted $5.5 million for the three phases. "If our application is DOE-approved," said Schoeling, "we expect to receive about $1.9 million in government funds."
DOE funding would be issued through its Class Revisited Program, created to help independents with enhanced recovery projects.
The balance of funding would come from the corporate sponsors-Shell CO2 and MV Partners-and other independents operating in the area.
Shell expects the project to receive DOE funding within 6-8 months. It is expanding its Southwest Kansas operations in order to prepare for the three-phase pilot project.
A CO2 pipeline from Bravo Dome in northeastern New Mexico to Postle field in the Oklahoma panhandle will be extended to other Morrow formation fields in southwestern Kansas and on to other fields, if demand warrants.
"Once CO2 injection begins to coax incremental oil into stock tanks in Morrow fields, the pipeline would move outward in stages, following increased CO2 demand as it builds in other areas of the state," said Paul Nunley, marketing manager for Shell CO2 Co.
Schoeling thinks the timing of the project is perfect: "With the demand for oil once again on the rise, the huge, proven Midcontinent oil resource (18 billion bbl) has never been more ready for a rebirth, particularly since, so far, only about 31% of the oil in place has been recovered through primary depletion and waterflooding."
He added, "We`re enthusiastic about the potential of the Morrow formations. Mobil`s Postle field is a Morrow flood that is producing 7,000 b/d of oil under a CO2 sweep-half its peak waterflood production rate. We`re continuing to study the Morrow and are currently negotiating with operators for flood opportunities."
Because the Midcontinent area doesn`t have a "Permian basin-type infrastructure" in place, however, the oil price would have to be $16-18/bbl in Kansas in order for the technique to be economic, said Schoeling.