--> Enhanced Oil Recovery Potential in Four Northern Appalachian Basin Oil Fields

2019 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting:
Energy from the Heartland

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Enhanced Oil Recovery Potential in Four Northern Appalachian Basin Oil Fields


Focused assessments of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) were undertaken as part of the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) Phase III final reporting. Each of the states in the West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio tri-state area were investigated relative to miscible (>2500 ft) and immiscible (<2500 ft) opportunities for enhanced recovery and CO2 storage. This assessment describes the potential of northern West Virginia oil fields for CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). Further, stacked opportunities are present within field footprints for CO2-enhanced gas recovery (CO2-EGR) and carbon storage. Four oil fields in north-central West Virginia were selected as potential CO2-EOR targets. Oil has been mainly produced from Venango Group reservoirs in these fields since discovery in the Mannington Field, coincidentally where the anticlinal theory of I.C. White was tested. Other fields include the Jacksonburg-Stringtown, Salem Wallace and Wolf Summit-Big Isaac. A conservative estimate (10 percent of remaining oil in place) indicates more than 40 million barrels of oil could be recovered via CO2-EOR methods. Oil reservoirs are associated with either a combination of structural and stratigraphic, or strictly stratigraphic, traps, where the fields lie along the flanks of anticlines and synclines. Oil is produced mid-limb, with gas toward the top of the anticlines and water in the troughs. Subsidence along the Rome Trough during Acadian time provided accommodation space that resulted in stacking of multiple sandstone units of Early Mississippian and Late Devonian age. Two fields with secondary oil recovery via waterflooding demonstrate the effectiveness of enhanced recovery in this area. The Jacksonburg-Stringtown Field has produced nearly five million barrels from 1990-2011. Most of the 1.3 million barrels produced from the Salem Wallace Field from 1994-2011 was by means of waterflooding. The four fields present stacked opportunities for CO2EGR and carbon storage as well. Adjacent fields producing gas from Bradford Group sandstones are potential EGR targets with relatively large associated acreage. The locally thick (>350 ft combined) fractured Huntersville Chert/Oriskany Sandstone is a carbon storage target. Appalachian shales are untested relative to CO2-EGR but should be considered as gas production wanes. The ‘wet/dry’ Marcellus shale window is within the study area while the deeper Utica Shale is locally unexplored.