Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
Improved Approaches to Design of Polymer Gel Treatments in Mature Oil Fields:
Field Demonstration in Dickman Field, Ness County, KS
This project was selected in response to DOE's Research with Independents solicitation,
DE-PS26-02NT15377. The focus area was Enhanced Oil Recovery.
The project goal was to accelerate adaptation and evaluation of new technologies,
such as gelled polymer technology, specifically for decreasing water production
in producing wells through collaboration among independent producers and service
companies operating in Kansas. The project will demonstrate the use of these
cost-effective tools and techniques to characterize the heterogeneous reservoir
in Dickman oilfield in Kansas and predict its performance with various polymer
Grand Mesa Operating Company
University of Kansas
The Mississippian reservoir at Dickman Field was characterized. A polymer gel
treatment was conducted and performed successfully. This is the first large-scale
gel polymer field test of a Mississippian carbonate reservoir in Kansas.
The project benefit will stem from demonstrating the feasibility of polymer
gel technology to increase the recovery of reserves from Mississippian reservoirs
in Kansas. The increase in recoverable reserves can be accomplished by 1) reducing
water production from Mississippian producers and the well operating cost, 2)
increasing the drawdown on Mississippian producers while boosting oil production
and remaining recoverable reserves, and 3) enabling uneconomic producers to
be returned to production.
The Mississippian reservoir at Dickman Field, discovered in 1962, has produced
about 1.6 million barrels of oil. Mississippian reservoirs in Kansas such as
that in Dickman Field are naturally fractured, solution-enhanced, multi-layered,
shallow-shelf carbonates with strong bottom-water drives. Water channels through
the natural-solution enhanced karst fracture system from the underlying aquifer.
High water influx prevents adequate drawdown pressure from being exerted on
the oil-bearing matrix, and the very high water cut increases operating costs.
Arbuckle and Mississippian production in Kansas occurs at or near the top of
karsted carbonates below a regional sub-Pennsylvanian unconformity surface.
These Arbuckle and Mississippian reservoirs are a major source of Kansas oil
production and account for about 58% of the state's current production. Across
Kansas, there are a large number of small- to medium-size Mississippian reservoirs
(1,785 fields reported production from the Mississippian in 2002).
The success in the Arbuckle has spurred renewed interests in other natural water-drive
reservoirs, such as the Mississippian. Up until now, gel-polymer for fracture
treatment in Mississippian reservoirs has not been attempted. Basic technical
or empirical guidelines do not exist for treatment design. This has inhibited
the use of polymer gel treatments in Mississippian reservoirs in Kansas. This
would be the first application of large-volume polymer gel treatments in Kansas
Mississippian carbonate reservoirs.
TIORCO equipment and personnel arrived on location on December 4, 2003. A tailgate
safety meeting was held to discuss all potential hazards specific to the jobsite.
TIORCO's portable polymer pumping unit No. 14 was used to perform this treatment.
A gauge on the end of a wireline was used to allow for real-time monitoring
of bottomhole pressure.
Representative samples of cross-linked polymer solution were collected during
all treatment stages to ensure that the intended gels ultimately would form.
Pre-gel samples were stored at a temperature of 120 F. in an oven onboard the
TIORCO portable polymer injection unit. All samples indicated that gels formed
The project is complete.
Project Start: August 12, 2003
Project End: October 31, 2004
Anticipated DOE Contribution: $100,000
Performer Contribution: $106,319 (51% of total)
NETL - Jesse Garcia (email@example.com or 918-699-2036)
Grand Mesa - Ronald Fowler (firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-265-3000)