Barco N. Yolo

Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Petroleum Engineering

First Advisor

Hui Pu


Oil production from tight formations such as the Bakken Formation has experienced a boom in the last decade with recent breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. However, despite the technological progress, the oil recovery is still less than 10 percent, leaving a considerable amount of potentially recoverable oil. While miscible flooding is well understood in the conventional reservoir, it is not fully explored in unconventional reservoirs. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate different enhanced oil recovery techniques potential in tight shale plays.

In this thesis, the research studies CO2 and ethane interactions with oil at reservoir conditions through laboratory experiments and examined their effects on the ultimate oil recovery. Due to the scarcity of CO2, the study concentrates on the potential of using ethane as an alternative to CO2 because the results showed CO2 as a good candidate for EOR in the Bakken. Also, we have done an extensive digital rock analysis on a Berea sandstone in order to learn how to incorporate the process into EOR simulations. Several core flood experiments were run using CO2 and ethane as the EOR agents and their results were compared. Next, Digital rock analysis and numerical simulation was employed to model the process.

In this work, the potential of different EOR processes was investigated, Digital rocks analysis and simulations were run to help better choose optimal EOR techniques and methodologies. It was observed that ethane was the best EOR agents for the Bakken and digital rock analysis can provide accurate reservoir characterisation of rock sample.