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UW’s EORI Takes Part in Field Demonstration Project

October 12, 2016

A collaborative field demonstration project conducted by True Oil LLC, UW chemical engineering Professor Vladimir Alvarado, Chemical Tracers Inc. (CTI) and the UW School of Energy Resources’ Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI) was completed in the West Gibbs Field northeast of Gillette during August.

This was the second single-well chemical tracer test (SWCTT) supported by EORI, says Nick Jones, senior geologist and manager of conventional resources for EORI. It is hoped that tests like these can be conducted on a broader scale to ultimately assess residual oil saturations and also test the viability of enhanced oil recovery technologies in Wyoming oil fields, Jones says.

The first collaborative field demonstration project was performed in 2014 at the Osage Field near Newcastle. This pilot test evaluated a reservoir in the Newcastle/Muddy Formation. Those involved in this test included Osage Partners, Tiorco, CTI and EORI.

The purpose of these two tests was to measure immobile or residual oil saturation and test the effectiveness of mobilizing this oil using chemical enhanced oil recovery for two very different types of geologic formations. The first test evaluated clay-rich Mesozoic fluvial and marine sandstones, whereas the second test was conducted in a carbonaceous Paleozoic eolian sandstone.

The SWCTT results for the first test indicated that approximately 65 percent of the immobile oil was mobilized, and results from the second SWCTT showed that approximately 21 percent was mobilized. Each test evaluated the performance of an alkaline-surfactant-polymer, or ASP, that was specifically designed for each test.

These tests use one well and occur in three phases. Phase one is used to determine pre-test residual oil saturation; phase two involves injecting the ASP formulation; and phase three determines the post-test residual oil saturation measurement.

The oil field where the most recent test was conducted is owned and operated by True Oil LLC. The field was discovered in 1970 and has produced 4.3 million barrels from the Minnelusa Formation. The well -- referred to as the Thompson 24-8, T52N R69W -- selected for the test was drilled and completed in 1984, and produces from about 20 feet of the Upper B sand in the Minnelusa Formation. The well currently produces 88 percent water and 12 percent oil, with a total estimated daily volume of approximately 360 barrels of fluid per day.

Both tests were conducted by CTI, a local Wyoming company that specializes in these types of well tests and which also is the premier technical leader in this area. Each test was partially funded through EORI’s field demonstration budget.

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

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