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Chemically Enabled Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery in Multi-Porosity, Hydrothermally Altered Carbonates in the Southern Michigan Basin
Project Number
Last Reviewed Dated

The goal of this research project is to conduct a comprehensive laboratory experiment, computer modeling, and field testing-based evaluation of chemically enabled carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) in the Southern Michigan Basin (MB)—with a focus on the conventional Trenton/Black River (TBR) play. This work will be conducted in the complex multi-porosity (i.e., matrix, vuggy, and fracture porosities) and/or hydrothermally altered dolomite (HTD) reservoirs developed along fault systems. The results of this research will help to provide strategies to improve oil recovery in complex carbonate formations and development plans for historical plays, thus increasing the likelihood of the application of EOR methods for similar reservoirs and numerous operators across a wide range of reservoirs and fields.


Battelle Memorial Institute - Columbus, OH 43201


The TBR is a giant play (>100,000 Bbl/day production at its peak) in southern Michigan with a great potential for undiscovered hydrocarbons. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates recoverable reserves of 824 MMBO and 1.4 TCF of gas from the TBR in the Michigan Basin that have yet to be discovered, making the TBR a significant resource for future development. The complex, multi-porosity (i.e., matrix, vuggy, and fracture porosities) and/or hydrothermally altered dolomite (HTD) TBR reservoirs which are developed along fault systems are especially challenging for EOR due to heterogeneities and compartmentalization, the presence of thief zones, and the lack of conformance. Injection of pure carbon dioxide (CO2) alone may not be effective in recovering stranded oil, and the addition of surfactants and other chemicals may assist in overcoming challenges posed by multi-porosity reservoirs. This project will address these challenges through advanced field characterization, integrated physics-based machine learning and data analytics, laboratory tests to determine the right additives to CO2, and optimized field tests for CO2-EOR performance.


These results will be used to conduct scale-up assessment, CO2 source analysis, and economic analysis, which will lead to a field development plan for the HTD play. Project results will demonstrate the feasibility of advancing CO2-EOR with chemical additives to overcome heterogeneous porosity in the TBR in southern Michigan and provide a path forward for future development. The project will help reinvigorate depleted oil fields in HTD type reservoirs in the Michigan Basin, with technical transferability to other similar basins.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)
  • Completed Project Management Plan (PMP)
  • Completed Data Management Plan (DMP)
  • Completed the Environmental Questionnaire and received National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approvals
Current Status

Existing data will continue to be compiled and corrected in preparation for analyses and the machine learning subtask. It is anticipated that additional data will continue to be contributed for the fields of interest from outside the project team.  A production/monitoring well is scheduled to be drilled in the April/May 2020 timeframe (McCann 1-20 well) where logs will be collected along with PVT fluid samples and sidewall cores.

Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL – Gary Covatch ( or 304-285-4589)
Battelle Memorial Institute – Dr. Neeraj Gupta ( or 614-424-3820)
Battelle Memorial Institute – Christa Duffy (  or 614-424-5785)