The overall goal of this project is to develop scientific knowledge and generate field data for assessing an advanced polymer flooding technology in viscous oil reservoirs on Alaska North Slope (ANS). The project aids the industry’s general understanding of polymer flooding by resolving the optimum polymer viscosity and salinity to inject during heavy-oil recovery. Early indications are that this is a successful new EOR technology for providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly means for viscous oil development on the North Slope.
It is estimated there is approximately 12 billion barrels of visous oil on the ANS. Injection of a benign polymer fluid to produce viscous oil from the Milne Point Field began in August 2018 as part of a DOE/NETL-supported field test. Two years later, the technology has demonstrated the ability to extract viscous oil, providing oil companies with a means to produce Alaska’s largely untapped viscous oil resource. Based on the success of the pilot project, Hilcorp is rapidly expanding use of this enhance oil recovery method to its Prudhoe Bay Unit. Other North Slope producers are following suit. Widespread application of the technology also helps to ensure the economic viability and operational reliability of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. The pipeline is currently running at about a quarter of its design capacity.
|Budget||Funding Agency||Project Partners||Period of Performance|
($7.2 million from DOE; $2.6 million primarily from Hilcorp)
|Dept. of Energy/National Energy Technology Lab||Lead: UAF
New Mexico Tech
Univ. of North Dakota
|June 2018-Sept 2022|