Technology in a Teapot: Overview of New Methods for Finding and Extracting Oil in from Old Stripper Field from Teapot Dome, Wyoming
Thomas C. Anderson
Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center, Casper, WY
The U.S. Department of Energy operates the Teapot Dome Oilfield near Casper, Wyoming, as a technology testing and demonstration center. Also known as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3), current oil production is about 300 BOPD from over 400 active wells. Primary producing reservoirs are the Shannon Sandstone, Steele and Niobrara Shales, Second Wall Creek Sandstone (Frontier), and the Tensleep Sandstone.
Numerous new technologies have been or are currently being tested and in some cases deployed in the field to improve production, extend the life of the field, or increase operational efficiency. This presentation will review some of those new technologies, drawn from the following list of domains and examples:
● Drilling: Rotary steerable systems, continuous sidewall coring, logging while tripping, bit vibration reduction, abrasive jet drilling.
● Production: Gas injection, surfactant soak or flooding, hydraulic pumps, Stirling generator, CO2 flood, flow assurance, downhole separators, leak detection.
● Exploration: Electro-magnetic, resistivity surveys, aeromagnetic, 4D seismic, fracture and geomechanics studies, petrographics, seismic curvature analysis.
● Renewable energy: Geothermal, wind, solar.
As one example of an innovative technology to reduce electrical power costs to operate the field, at NPR-3 40,000 barrels per day of hot water (190°F) are currently produced along with the oil from the Tensleep Formation, cooled in a series of ponds, then discharged into Little Teapot Creek. We are demonstrating, in partnership with a major geothermal company, a method for extracting that waste heat energy to power a hybrid Rankin Cycle generator. This has the potential to be applied in stripper oilfields in many areas of the U.S.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90092©2009 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, July 9-11, 2008, Denver, Colorado