Abstract: Secondary Recovery of Oil in Ohio — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
TOMASTIK, THOMAS E.
Ohio Division of Oil and Gas, Columbus, OH
Since 1903, when the first known attempt at increasing oil production by secondary recovery was initiated in Ohio, at least 339 enhanced oil recovery projects have been documented. These included 34 gas injections, one steam injection, one polymer flood, 92 air injections, and 211 waterflood projects.
With the legalization of waterflooding in Ohio in 1939, secondary recovery of oil increased dramatically. By 1942, secondary recovery operations reached their peak and accounted for 15.9 % of Ohio's daily oil production. However, since 1942, secondary recovery operations in Ohio have continued to decline rapidly. For instance, in 1996, secondary recovery operations accounted for only 1.2 % of Ohio's annual crude oil production, while surrounding Appalachian states account for 25 to 50 % of their production by secondary recovery.
What seems to be the problem in Ohio? First of all, most of the secondary recovery projects in Ohio were poorly documented. Records are unavailable or just don't exist. More importantly, however, was how these projects were constructed, completed, and operated. Historically, most of Ohio's secondary recovery operations relied heavily upon technology used in the Bradford oil field in the early 1900s. In fact, many of these techniques are still being used on some projects today!
In order to thoroughly evaluate secondary recovery projects in Ohio, case studies were examined to demonstrate the level of success that was achieved. By evaluating these studies, it will show how modern enhanced oil recovery techniques can be applied to Ohio's reservoirs to achieve a greater level of success.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90930©1998 AAPG Eastern Section, Columbus, Ohio