Program Partners

wpx energy
Marathon Oil
North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Program
Conoco Phillips
Liberty Resources
Oasis Petroleum
XTO Energy

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) was awarded an extension to the existing and highly successful North Dakota Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Research Council (NDIC OGRC)-sponsored Bakken Production Optimization Program (BPOP). The purpose of this extension is to facilitate a 3-year continuation of this program to address emerging threats and issues to petroleum production in North Dakota. The extension is a continuation of the collaborative effort between the state of North Dakota and the North Dakota petroleum industry to apply North Dakota resources to provide North Dakota solutions to North Dakota challenges.

The goals of BPOP 2.0 are to:

  • Employ a “system of systems” approach to enhance overall production efficiency, recognizing that improved coordination among various design factors (reservoir management, well design, surface processing, gas management, waste management) can lead to significant improvements in resource recovery efficiency.
  • Conduct applied research in topic areas that positively impact the efficiency of production and reduce the environmental footprint of operations.
  • Advise industry and state entities on scientific aspects of exploration and production activities, especially as they pertain to economic and environmental impacts.
  • Facilitate collaboration on issues that may not otherwise receive collaborative attention from industry and/or the state of North Dakota.

The anticipated outcomes of BPOP 2.0 are:

  • Increased well productivity and economic output of North Dakota’s oil and gas resources.
  • Decreased environmental impacts of wellsite operations.
  • Reduced demand for infrastructure construction and maintenance.

Specific results will include improved resource recovery efficiency, reduced land use impacts, increased royalties and tax revenue from harnessed associated gas and natural gas liquid streams, and increased revenue from added product streams captured earlier in the well life cycle.

Opportunities to Share in Results

This is a producer-driven program with the goal of providing solutions to nonconfidential wellsite productivity issues affecting all Bakken producers. Employing a consortium approach for these issues minimizes corporate financial and staffing input, makes solutions available to consortium companies without dedicating staff resources, and partners with the state of North Dakota to ensure transparency and continued cooperative efforts to assist producers in getting the most out of wellsite economics.

Program Details

Activities focused on the optimization of wellsite operations will be developed and prioritized by consortium members but may include projects in these topic areas:

  • Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
    • Liberty Resources’ rich gas injection EOR pilot project
    • Determine the effectiveness injection/production schemes.
    • Determine the ability of rich gas mixtures to mobilize oil.
    • Determine changes in gas and fluid compositions over time and assess how changes affect reservoir and process facility.
    • Optimize future commercial-scale EOR design and operations.
    • Evaluate monitoring techniques.
  • Refracturing Optimization
    • Case study of Whiting’s Refrac Pilot Project.
    • Development guidelines for selection in unconventional reservoirs.
  • Produced Fluid Characterization
    • Collect and analyze produced fluid samples from across the basin, across formations, across time, and across producing companies.
    • Produce unprecedented database of Williston Basin produced fluid composition trends.
  • Reservoir Performance Modeling
    • Decline curve analyses to indicate how specific drilling and completion practices may affect long-term oil production.
  • Water Injection Reservoir Assessment
    • Simulation-based estimates of Inyan Kara (Dakota) and other formations’ capacity to receive wastewater disposal.
  • Facility Process Optimization
    • Assess the potential for site operating parameters to cause the unintended release of storage tank vapors.
    • Identify efficiency optimizations in wellsite processes.
  • Aromatic/Aliphatic Tracers Development
    • Development of an approach using aromatic/aliphatic ratios to identify the source rock of crude oil produced in the Bakken petroleum system.
  • Environmental Support
    • General support for priority environmental issues affecting oil production, including spill remediation, TENORM management, fugitive emissions, and other issues.
  • Public outreach and education
    • Produce fact sheets for public dissemination.
    • Engage in both industry-specific and public sector platforms.

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