--> History of Secondary and Enhanced Oil Recovery in Michigan

2019 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting:
Energy from the Heartland

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History of Secondary and Enhanced Oil Recovery in Michigan


Michigan has over 2300 classified oil and gas fields or pools in fields, however only 120 have seen any activity past primary production. Waterflooding is, by far, the most common technology used in post-primary production efforts, followed by natural gas reinjection for pressure maintenance and CO2 EOR. Silurian pinnacle reef reservoirs have most frequently had secondary or enhanced recovery techniques applied to them. Sixty-three percent (76 fields) in the Silurian Niagaran Pinnacle Reef play have post-primary production. That is less than 6% of the more than 1200 known Niagaran Reef fields. Niagaran Reef secondary and enhanced recovery includes waterflooding, gas reinjection, CO2 EOR and some combinations of these techniques. Although results in individual fields have been mixed, as to the economic success of secondary and enhanced oil recovery producing significant additional reserves, there are good examples of these techniques producing more than an additional 25% of the original oil in place beyond the primary production. Eighteen percent (22 fields) of the post-primary production activity has been in Middle Devonian Lucas Formation (Detroit River and Richfield) reservoirs. There are generally large fields with many wells. About 17% of the 132 classified fields in this play have post-primary production. Waterflooding is the main technology used along with some gas reinjection and infill drilling. Primary production in this play is often less than 20% of original oil in place while secondary recovery in these fields may often double the primary production making this reservoir the most successful for post-primary treatment in Michigan. Fourteen percent (17 fields) of the secondary or enhanced applications to Michigan fields is in the Middle Devonian Dundee Formation. Only about 9% of the 189 classified fields in the Dundee play have had any post-primary production attempts. Waterflooding and horizontal redrilling is all that has been applied in this play. Many of the Dundee fields had high primary recoveries of over 40% of original oil in place. Secondary attempts have generally recovered less 10% of OOIP. Secondary or enhanced recovery in other Michigan formations is very limited with only one or two fields with any post-primary activity.