Lesson Contents01. EOR for Unconventional Reservoirs - Lesson 1.01: Introduction02. What is in this course?03. Unconventional Reservoirs - What?04. Unconventional Reservoirs - Where?05. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Elm Coulee Bakken (Montana)06. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Bakken - Expanded Development07. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Continued Unconventional Oil Development08. Unconventional Reservoirs - North America09. Unconventional Oil Success - US10. Unconventional Reservoirs - Need for EOR11. Course Outline12. Selected References
01. EOR for Unconventional Reservoirs - Lesson 1.01: IntroductionHi, my name's Todd Hoffman, and I'm teaching a course at SAGA Wisdom on Enhanced Oil Recovery in Unconventional Reservoirs.
02. What is in this course?Now some information about the course, kind of what we're going to go through. So beginning of the course, we'll just kind of talk about some background information stuff, kind of, what are unconventional reservoirs, what's EOR? Make sure that we're all kind of on the same page.
03. Unconventional Reservoirs - What?I do want to talk, as I mentioned, just a little bit about what are unconventional reservoirs. And I know most people taking this class, they probably have a pretty good idea. But because unconventional reservoirs is a pretty vague term, we might like to just talk a little bit about it. And people call it different things. Like you'll hear them called shale oil reservoirs quite a bit. There's some problems with that, they're not all shales, We hear them called source rock reservoirs. Again, that's a term. Or liquid-rich reservoirs or tight light oil. So there's a bunch of different names for these types of reservoirs. But just so that we're all clear, kind of my definition of unconventional reservoir, it really starts with the permeability.
04. Unconventional Reservoirs - Where?Where are conventional reservoirs? Well, because again, they're kind of the source rocks of all the conventional reservoirs, everywhere we have conventional production, there's a source rock associated with that and there's an unconventional reservoir, potential unconventional reservoir associated with that too. So really, all over the world, we have these unconventional reservoirs.
05. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Elm Coulee Bakken (Montana)I also just want to talk a little bit about how unconventional oil reservoirs started. And you may, oh yeah, I've heard about how unconventional got started and that's a guy named Mitchell in the Barnett. But for the oil part of the reservoir, it really started here in Montana in the Elm Coulee Field. So there was a geologist, Richard Findley, who kind of had been drilling wells in the Williston Basin for his entire career and always drilled through this Bakken formation. You'd get a little show of oil, but the permeability just wasn't there to complete it. But he had this idea of, man, if I could drill a horizontal well into that formation, maybe I could make a well out of it. And so, it took a lot of money, he convinced another company, he partnered with Lyco and they drilled a well in the 1999. It's a little short, 1,000 ft lateral, turn the well on and did really well. I mean it came on producing maybe one 100 bbl/d. And this is the time when good wells are producing 30 or 40 bbl/d, onshore. And so he was pretty happy with it, but it wasn't stellar. And then they said, well maybe we should frac this well? And not the multi-stage completions we're doing today, but really just a single hydraulic fracture, just a "pump and pray" or just a single stage completion. Just pump a bunch of sand and fluid down there and see what happens. And they did that in early 2000 and the well came back producing about 400 bbl/d and kind of the rush was on.
06. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Bakken - Expanded DevelopmentNow, if we just flash forward just five years into 2010, what we see is the Elm Coulee field is pretty much over. So each circle here represents a well, the size of the circle represents how much it's producing and then the colors represent how gassy it is. So yellow is more gas and red has the most. You can see in the Elm Coulee field, there's a few more wells now, but there are smaller circles and more gas in them. But over on the North Dakota side, man there's a lot more activity. And this is partly because there's a bigger area of potential production happening over there in North Dakota and the development started to pick up. And again, for me, like I grew up in this kind of small town, kind of middle of nowhere, didn't know much about the oil and gas industry. My friends from high school started getting jobs over here in North Dakota. I mean, it was a big deal, not just for North Dakota, but for the entire region. I mean, these friends with just a high school education, they'd come back, they'd have these big jacked up pickup trucks and made lots of money. And they knew kind of at that point what the oil industry was and how you can make some money in the area. So this is kind of the beginning of unconventional oil development.
07. Unconventional Oil Reservoirs - Origin Story - Continued Unconventional Oil DevelopmentI'd say the next important place maybe is the Eagle Ford down in South Texas. So this is 2011, this is a year later than we showed before. And all the blue dots on here are permitted wells. So they haven't been drilled yet. Now you can see a few green wells, those are oil wells and a few red wells, those are the gas wells. But for the most, very little production happening in 2011.
08. Unconventional Reservoirs - North AmericaIf we look at other basins like the Permian, similar kind of stories happening between 2015 and 2020, as this explosion of development happened over a very short period of time and all these different basins. And we talk about Canada, the Montney and the Duvernay and the Utica in Ohio. In Oklahoma, the Stack/Scoop area. So really, this development has kind of been across all of North America.
09. Unconventional Oil Success - USAnd it's been tremendous as far as the production that we have. So here I'm just showing US oil production from 1920 through today. I mean, you can see it peaked up in 1970 around 10 MM bbl/d, but it's pretty much been on a steady decline since then. This little blip right here in kind of the middle 80s is when Alaska came on. But really, we see kind of in 2005 or so this huge increase in production. And this is really the unconventional reservoirs coming online here in the US. And we far exceeded that 1970 peak of 10 MM bbl/d. It peaked at about 13 MMbbl/d. It's come back a little bit lately, but still over 10 MMbbl/d production. Again, the far majority of that probably 7 MMbbl/8 MMbbl, is actually coming from these unconventional plays. And it's made a huge difference in energy security. And again, these are all things you know, but just to be complete, there's a huge amount of oil in these reservoirs.
10. Unconventional Reservoirs - Need for EORSo that's the good news, right? We have lots of oil in place in these reservoirs, hundreds of billions of barrels in each one of these basins. The wells come on at high rates, but they drop off quickly and we have really low recovery factors. So what does this tell us? Well, there's some need for some type of enhanced oil recovery. And that's really where this class comes in, right. We have lots of resource. We're getting a little bit out of it. Even in conventional reservoirs, we had the same problem in the 40s and we really developed some EOR techniques to accomplish that. So that's kind of where we're sitting today in unconventional reservoirs, ready to try to develop these unconventional reservoirs, some type of EOR with them.
11. Course OutlineSo this last slide on this first lesson, just is kind of a course outline. It has lots more detail about the things we're going to talk about. Really get into some of the details on the Huff-n-Puff gas injection, how it works, different types of fluids we may be able to use. And then also a big chunk of the class is really on the operational aspects and implementing it. If you're an engineer looking to implement EOR in one of your fields, a big part of this class will talk about things to look for it and concerned you should have and things you should be thinking about and experiments you should be running and all those types of things.