Tight & Light Oil Research

The Bakken formation in the Williston Basin, straddling the US-Canada border, has developed into a world class oil play.  In Saskatchewan alone, Bakken extraction accounts for over half of the light oil production in the entire province.  Similar tight oil reservoirs including the Shaunavon and Viking in Saskatchewan, the Three Forks in North Dakota and Manitoba, and Alberta’s Cardium formation require innovative extraction techniques to access oil from challenging, very low permeability rocks.

Despite the advent of multi- stage fracking technology, Bakken wells typically yield low overall recoveries and experience sharp production decline rates. Secondary and tertiary recovery techniques may become critical factors for future improvements in Bakken production. The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) is meeting the challenge of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the Bakken and other light and tight oil plays in Western Canada, by working with our industry partners and Innovation Saskatchewan, to develop field trials of new technologies that seek to stimulate reservoirs and move horizontal well production to secondary and tertiary recovery.  These trials may include the use of CO2 or other solvents during hydraulic fracturing to improve and lengthen recovery, as well as reduce water use.

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