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UW Participates in Osage Oil Field Single-Well Chemical Tracer Test

November 13, 2014
truck, trailer and oil tanks in desert area
A collaborative demonstration project recently took place at the test site at Osage Field, located in northwest Wyoming. The project test, which included input from UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, initially revealed that approximately 32 percent of the oil in the reservoir is residual. (Rebecca Podia, Osage Partners LLC Photo)

The first-ever collaborative field demonstration project conducted by Osage Partners LLC, TIORCO, Chemical Tracers Inc., and the University of Wyoming’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI) was completed in the Bradley Unit of the Osage oil field during October.

The project’s purpose was to collect an in situ measurement of residual oil saturation from the reservoir. The single-well chemical tracer test also evaluated the effectiveness of an alkali-surfactant-polymer (ASP) to mobilize stranded oil.

Initial test results indicate that approximately 32 percent of the oil in the reservoir is residual. Because residual oil is immobile, it cannot be produced using conventional techniques. The test results also indicated that close to 20 percent of this residual oil can be mobilized and produced using ASP.

The significance of this field demonstration project is that it shows that the use of ASP can significantly reduce residual oil saturation and ultimately improve oil recovery from the Newcastle Formation. This was the first ever in situ measurement of residual oil in the Newcastle Formation, says Nick Jones, senior geologist/technical lead for EORI. It is anticipated that other operators who have Newcastle production also may have a similar potential for mobilizing residual oil and, ultimately, improved oil recovery using ASP, Jones says.

The oil field where the test was conducted is owned and operated by Osage Partners LLC. The field was discovered in 1919 and has produced 32 million barrels from the Newcastle/Muddy Formation. The well -- referred to as OBU 4-24, T46N R63W -- selected for the test was drilled and completed in 1977, and produces water and oil from approximately 12 feet of the Newcastle Formation. The well currently produces 95 percent water and 5 percent oil, with a total estimated daily volume of between five and six barrels of fluid per day.

The result of the successful single-well chemical tracer test in this well supports the implementation of a larger multi-well or five-spot ASP flood. The test was conducted by Laramie-based Chemical Tracers Inc. and partially funded through the EORI’s field demonstration budget. The ASP formulation used in the test was designed by TIORCO of Denver, a company that designs, develops and provides chemically enhanced oil recovery technologies that increase the effectiveness of oil and gas field water flooding and improve recovery.

For more information, contact the EORI at (307) 766-2791 or go to

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