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Fontana, John V.1, James H. Viellenave1, Shari Dunn-Norman2, Estella Atekwana2, Anuj Gupta2, Daopu Numbere2, Larry Britt3, Michael Smith3, John Pelger4, Eric Davis5
(1) Direct Geochemical, Golden, CO
(2) University of Missouri--Rolla, Rolla,
(3) Nolte Smith, Inc, Tulsa, OK
(4) J-Environmental, Tulsa,
(5) Pinnacle Technologies, San Francisco, CA

ABSTRACT: Near Surface Geochemistry Assists in Evaluating Development Practices for Optimized Microbial Enhanced Oil (MEOR) Recovery in Shallow Heavy Oil Reservoirs in Southwestern Missouri

A research project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, has been undertaken to demonstrate development of the heavy oil reserves that exist at ultra-shallow depth in the Pennsylvanian sands in Southwestern Missouri. The principal objective is to demonstrate an economically viable and sustainable method of producing the shallow heavy oil using a combination of microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) treatments and horizontal fracturing in vertical wells. Near surface geochemistry was used to help evaluate prospective areas in the project.
A surface geochemical survey was used as a tool to identify productive areas within the region and to identify ideal locations for the wells. Geochemical methods tested include light (C1-C6) hydrocarbons, synchronous scanned fluorescence and trace metals analysis. Samples were collected around existing wells with known oil saturation as well as dry holes. Additional samples were collected in grids around some of the producing areas and additional sampling is planned to expand the grid into areas of known high and low oil saturation. The geochemistry to date has been useful in distinguishing areas with higher oil saturations from those with low oil saturations. An update on the additional sampling will be presented.
At present, in addition to the geochemistry, electrical resistively tomography (ERT) background surveys have been completed and analyzed. Five wells have been drilled based on geochemical and ERT results. Two wells have been fractured stimulated. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) treatments are expected to begin in late September. An update will be presented and final results of the production methodology are expected in late 2004.
Project participants include the University of Missouri – Rolla, Direct Geochemical, Nolte Smith, Inc., J-Environmental, Garland Oil and Gas, Rutgers University, Halliburton Energy Services and Pinnacle Technologies, Inc.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.