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Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Improves Oil Recovery in the Eagle Ford

The Eagle Ford formation has produced approximately 2 billion bbl of oil during the last 7 years, yet its potential may be even greater. Using improved oil-recovery (IOR) methods could result in billions of additional barrels of production. While a number of companies have field-tested an IOR method called huff ’n’ puff gas injection, most of the published results are from laboratory and modeling studies. This paper evaluates the results of these field tests and discusses the potential of the huff ’n’ puff method in the formation.

Introduction

The Eagle Ford formation, formed during the late Cretaceous, is a laminated calcareous organic rich shale. The shale was deposited in a low-energy anoxic marine shelf environment, which allowed for rapid deposition and burial of abundant organic material. The Eagle Ford is divided typically into two sections: the Upper, which was deposited during a regional marine regression, and the Lower, which was deposited during a transgressional period and tends to have more organic-rich black shale. The Eagle Ford is laterally continuous and spatially extensive throughout much of southern Texas.

The matrix permeability of the reservoir is low enough that typical hydrocarbon migration is restricted, causing the oil-rich rocks to be stratigraphically higher than the gas-filled ones.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 189816, “Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Projects in the Eagle Ford,” by B. Todd Hoffman, SPE, Montana Tech, prepared for the 2018 SPE Canada Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 13–14 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Huff ’n’ Puff Gas-Injection Pilot Improves Oil Recovery in the Eagle Ford

01 November 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 11

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