A Nonconventional CO2-EOR Target in the Illinois Basin: Oil Reservoirs of the Thick Cypress Sandstone
Stranded Oil In The Residual Oil Zone by L. Stephen Melzer, 2006
The United States Department of Energy’s (US DOE’s) Carbon Storage Program seeks to shift the carbon balance for carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) to net carbon negative oil (NCNO), a situation in which a greater amount of carbon is stored in geologic medium than is being produced through CO2-EOR. This study will focus on the identification of residual oil zones (ROZs) in the Illinois Basin (ILB) where relatively thin oil reservoirs occupy the tops of thick sandstone and are underlain by strong bottom-drive water aquifers. Within the ILB, the Cypress Sandstone, particularly the thick fluvial deltaic facies within the Fairfield Basin, shows extensive potential for CO2 storage and the promise of increased oil recovery in response to CO2-EOR. The study includes detailed geologic reservoir characterization to define CO2 storage potential, residual oil saturation, and CO2-EOR feasibility in oil reservoirs within the Cypress Sandstone of the ILB.
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under award number DE-FE0024431.
Project News and Updates
Geologists partner with stakeholders, collect data to test new method of identifying oil reserves
A partnership months in the making has paid off. Geologists from the Prairie Research Institute collected data, called pulsed-neutron logs, on the thick Cypress Sandstone.
New core and equipment reveal reservoir properties of the Cypress Sandstone
Dmytro Lukhtai, an undergraduate in the Department of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been using a new porosimeter and permeameter and Dean-Stark extractors to collect data on recently acquired core samples.
Key core samples acquired for identifying carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery and storage opportunities in Illinois
Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) researchers acquired roughly 162 feet of core samples from the Cypress Sandstone, a geologic formation in the Illinois Basin, for sedimentological and petrophysical study.
Joshua Arneson chosen to be UIUC Capitol Scholar
The Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) chose Joshua Arneson to be one of its 2016 Capitol Scholars.
Quantifying CO2 storage and enhanced oil recovery for the thick Cypress Sandstone: Outcrops in southern Illinois investigated for further sedimentological study
Nathan Webb, Kalin Howell, and John Grube conducted field investigations of Cypress Sandstone outcrops in southern Illinois.
Final Project Report
- A Nonconventional CO2-EOR Target in the Illinois Basin: Oil Reservoirs of the Thick Cypress Sandstone (text pdf) - Final report text delivered to DOE July 31, 2019.
- A Nonconventional CO2-EOR Target in the Illinois Basin: Oil Reservoirs of the Thick Cypress Sandstone (presentation pdf) – Closeout presentation to summarize final report given to DOE February 11, 2020.
AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, May 21, 2019, San Antonio, TX
- A Novel Methodology of Using Well Log Analyses to Identify Brownfield and Greenfield ROZs in the Illinois Basin (pdf) - Poster presentation by Nathan Grigsby.
- CO2 Storage and EOR Resource Assessment of the Cypress Sandstone Residual Oil Zone Play in the Illinois Basin (pdf) - Poster presentation by Nathan Webb.
IEAHG Modeling and Risk Management Network Meeting, June 19-22, 2018, Grand Forks, ND
- Thick Siliciclastic Brownfield ROZ: Modeling Development Strategies for CO2 EOR and Storage (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Scott Frailey, Roland Okwen and Fang Yang.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Eastern Section Meeting, September 24-27, 2017, Morgantown, WV
- Using well log analysis to identify residual oil zones at Noble and Kenner West Oil Fields, Illinois (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Nathan Grigsby that describes use of conventional and shaly-sand well log analyses to identify and characterize the thickness and residual oil saturation of suspected ROZs beneath the main pay zones in the Cypress Sandstone at Noble and Kenner West Oil Fields, Illinois.
11th International Conference on Fluvial Sedimentology, July 17–21, 2017, Calgary, Canada
- Geometry and architecture of fluvial-estuarine Pennsylvanian paleovalley fills, Southeastern Illinois, USA (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Nathan Webb that describes the characteristics of Pennsylvanian paleovalley fills and how an understanding of their geometry and architecture can highlight areas that may have the potential for enhanced oil recovery. The presentation also provides new insights into paleogeographic reconstructions and basin fill evolution of the intracratonic Illinois Basin.
- Evidence of a sandy suspended-load dominated river from the Mississippian Cypress Formation, Illinois, USA (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Kalin Howell that describes how diagnostic sedimentary facies and textures have been identfied by integrating new core and outcrop data, which enabled a new interpretation for the thick sandstones within the Cypress Formation as meandering or anastomosing fluvial deposits. The results provide new insight into the preservation of mesoforms and macroforms under the influence of suspended-load dominated transport as well as implications for the dynamics of Carboniferous continental scale river systems in the Illinois Basin.
- Reservoir architecture and heterogeneity of multistory fluvial sandstones of the Mississippian Cypress Formation, Illinois, USA: Implications for CO2 storage and EOR (pdf) - Poster presentation given by Kalin Howell that shows how detailed characterization, which integrates geologic characterization, well log analysis, and reservoir modeling, provides new insights into the heterogeneity of thick Cypress sandstones, including scales of flow units and controls on variations in permeability that can otherwise appear homogeneous on wireline logs.
71st Annual Illinois Oil and Gas Association Trade Show and Convention, March 2–3, 2017, Evansville, IN
- Improved oil recovery in the Cypress using an unconventional approach (pdf) - Invited talk given by Nathan Webb about geologic characterization of the Cypress Sandstone, residual oil zones, well log analysis, and preliminary results from reservoir simulations. Webb presented data from new core collected as part of the project in September 2016. The preliminary simulation results were for the Kenner West Field.
Illinois Geological Society Meeting, October 21, 2016, Mt. Vernon, IL
- An integrated approach to identifying residual oil zones in the Cypress Sandstone in the Illinois Basin for nonconventional CO2-EOR and storage (pdf) - Invited talk given by Nathan Webb that describes geologic characterization and petrophysical analysis of the Cypress Sandstone to identify residual oil zones and nonconventional CO2-EOR and storage opportunities in the formation. The Noble and Kenner West Fields in Illinois were included as case studies.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Eastern Section Meeting, September 25-27, 2016, Lexington, KY
- An integrated approach to identifying residual oil zones in the Cypress Sandstone in the Illinois Basin for nonconventional CO2-EOR and storage (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Nathan Webb that describes geologic characterization and petrophysical analysis of the Cypress Sandstone to identify residual oil zones and nonconventional CO2-EOR and storage opportunities in the formation. Noble Field in Illinois was included as a case study.
- Cypress Sandstone reservoir characterization across the Clay City Anticline, Richland and Clay Counties, Illinois (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Yaghoob Lasemi that describes stratigraphic and lithologic work on the Cypress Sandstone, including the lateral and vertical variability of reservoirs across the Clay City Anticline.
- Using clay microporosity to improve formation evaluation in potential ROZs: Cypress Sandstone, Illinois Basin (pdf) - Oral presentation given by Leo Giannetta that describes imaging techniques used to quantify clay microporosity in the Cypress Sandstone.
NETL, Mastering the Subsurface Through Technology Innovation and Collaboration: Carbon Storage and Oil and Natural Gas Technologies Review Meeting, August 16-18, 2016, Pittsburgh, PA
- August 2016 project review presentation (pdf) – Oral presentation given by Nathan Webb on the benefits of the project to the US Department of Energy Program, project overview, methodology, and accomplishments to date, such as water saturation profiles developed during petrophysical analysis; isopach maps developed during geologic modeling; and three-dimensional geocellular models that incorporate interpretations of depositional and diagenetic facies developed during geologic modeling.
- Identifying indicators of residual oil zone formation in the Illinois Basin (pdf) – Poster presentation given by Nathan Webb that describes the project, thick Cypress Sandstone, petroleum migration/emplacement in the Cypress, potential ROZ-forming mechanisms in the Illinois Basin, and indicators to look for when identifying ROZs in the Illinois Basin.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, June 19–22, 2016, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The Mississippian thick Cypress Sandstone: A nonconventional CO2-EOR target in the Illinois Basin (pdf) – Poster presentation given by Nathan Webb. This three-panel poster describes the project's study area; geologic characterization, including depositional, diagenetic, and reservoir properties; petrophyiscal analysis; geocellular modeling; implications and findings; and future work. Abstract.
North-Central Geological Society of America Meeting, April 18-19, 2016, Champaign, IL
- Identification of clay microporosity in the reservoir characterization of the Cypress Sandstone: Implications for petrophysical analysis, reservoir quality, and depositional environment (pdf) – Oral presentation given by Leo Giannetta on the techniques and findings of investigations into clay microporosity in the thick Cypress Sandstone. Abstract.
- Reservoir characterization of the thick IVF Cypress Sandstone in Noble Field, Illinois, for nonconventional CO2-EOR (pdf) – Oral presentation given by Nathan Webb on the preliminary findings from geologic and geocellular modeling of Noble Field. Abstract.
- Using petrophysics to determine the presence of residual oil zones in the thick IVF Cypress Sandstone at Noble, southeastern Illinois (pdf) – Poster presentation given by Joshua Arneson on the methodology and findings of the petrophysical analysis being used to identify residual oil zones in the thick Cypress. Abstract.
- Petrography of the Chesterian (Upper Mississippian) Cypress Sandstone in the Illinois Basin (pdf) – Poster presentation given by Jaclyn Daum on petrographic analysis conducted on core from the thick Cypress Sandstone. Abstract.
- Leveraging spontaneous potential and neutron density porosity logs to construct a geocellular model: An example from the thick Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field, Illinois (pdf) – Poster presentation given by Nathan Grigsby on the use of spontaneous potential and porosity logs to create a geocellular model populated with porosity values and a method to populate the model with permeability values based on the porosity values, including a comparison of permeability and porosity values from the geocellular model and core. Abstract.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Eastern Section Meeting, September 20-22, 2015, Indianapolis, IN
- Geological characterization and modeling of the Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field, southeastern Illinois (pdf) - Oral presentation given in September of 2015 at the AAPG Eastern Section Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on the geological characterization and modeling of the Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field in Southeastern Illinois.
NETL Carbon Storage RD Project Review Meeting, August 18-20, 2015, Pittsburgh, PA
- August 2015 project review presentation (pdf) - Oral presentation given in Pittsburgh, PA, to the US DOE in August of 2015 at the annual NETL Carbon Storage RD Project Review Meeting on the benefits of the project, program overview, project overview, methodology, outcomes, and accomplishments to date.
- Geological characterization and modeling of the Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field, southeastern Illinois (pdf) – Poster presentation given in Pittsburgh, PA, to the US DOE in August of 2015 at the annual NETL Carbon Storage RD Project Review Meeting that describes the project, thick Cypress Sandstone, Noble Field geology, the method to develop a production history of Noble field, geocellular modeling, and future work.
US DOE Project Kick-off Meeting, December 2014, Morgantown, WV
- Project overview presentation (pdf) – Oral presentation given at the US DOE facility in Morgantown, WV, in December of 2014 at the inception of the project to provide an overview of the goals, objectives, tasks to be performed, and structure of the project.
Core Data Visualization
A novel mechanism to disseminate the core data assembled in this project will be a website that includes a core image database which will function like an online core visualization lab. The core image database will include high-resolution imagery of the core as well as all collected core-related data (e.g., core description and routine porosity and permeability). This database will allow for viewing and comparing core from multiple wells at varying depths and will include the well construction information. As the project progresses and data is assembled from available core, the website will be updated with the interactive database described above.
- US Department of Energy, 2012, 2012 United States Carbon Utilization and Storage Atlas: 130 p.
- National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) webpage on enhanced oil recovery
- US Department of Energy (DOE) website
- Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Manager
- Leads a team of geologists and reservoir modelers conducting geologic screening and geologic and geocellular modeling
- Co-PI and participant in project management planning
- Leads a team in the petrophysics research area and is a participant in oilfield screening, reservoir simulation, and CO2-EOR and storage estimation
- Co-PI and participant in project management planning
- Participates in oilfield screening, petrophysics, and geologic modeling tasks
- Leads data synthesis, analysis work, and geocellular modeling
- Integral part of geocellular and geologic modeling, reservoir simulation, and economics
- Leads a team focused on reservoir engineering and modeling tasks
- Coordinates geoceullar modeling and geology
- Leads a team focused on economic analyses of CO2-EOR scenarios
- Leads a team focused on CO2-EOR and storage resource of the thick Cypress Sandstone in the Illinois Basin