Bakken Tight Oil Resource Play – Exploration Model Colorado School of Mines Bakken Team J. Frederick Sarg S. A. Sonnenberg M. Batzle M. Prasad DOE Award No.: DE-NT0005672 November 11, 2011 Bakken Exploration Model - Introduction The following slides summarize the key learnings of this NETL/CSM joint project on the Bakken Petroleum System. Parameters and criteria have been developed to identify areas where new traps may be found, and where enhanced productivity of Bakken oil is possible. The criteria are grouped into four categories – (1) source and maturation, (2) reservoir quality of matrix, (3) natural fractures, and (4) trap and seal. This summary focuses on the Bakken Formation, but the following conclusions may be applicable to the underlying Three Forks Formation. A paper is in preparation that will describe in more detail, project conclusions and this exploration model. Source Rocks - Organic-Rich Bakken Shales • Kerogen Type I and II. • TOC averages ≈11%, ranges from 8-16% over much of the Williston basin in North Dakota, and can attain values into the mid-30’s. • Mature over much of the basin, and still generating oil. Large fields (Elm Coulee, Sanish, Parshall) are situated at transition from mature to immature level of maturation. Volume increases during maturation by as much as 30%. Volume decrease at the transition to immature source rock is important to providing updip top and lateral seal. • Oil migration from the Upper Bakken shale probably has been over short distances (km to 10’s of km), and has been mainly into the underlying Middle Bakken. Much of the oil remains within the Bakken Petroleum System. Reservoir Quality – Middle Bakken & Upper Bakken Shale • Middle Bakken facies B, C, D, and E can all be reservoirs, if quartzrich and dolomite-rich (D) or dolomitized (B, C, and E). • Porosity averages 4-8%, permeability averages 0.01-0.001 md or less. • Matrix reservoir quality is enhanced by dolomitization. Porosity is intercrystalline and tends to be > 6%. Permeabilities may reach to 0.15 md or greater. This is a “sweet spot” determinant (e.g., Elm Coulee, Parshall, and Sanish). • Horizontal micro-fractures form along bedding lamination of the Middel Bakken C and E facies • The Upper Bakken shale is siliceous, increasing brittleness and enhancing fracability. During oil generation, the volume increase causes overpressure (0.6 - 0.73 psi/ft pressure gradient) and horizontal micro-fractures in the shale enhancing permeability. Bakken Natural Fractures – Permeability Enhancement • Regional fractures (faults) form an orthogonal set with NE-SW (dominant and parallel to σ1) and NW-SE orientations. Many horizontal wells are drilled perpendicular to σ1 direction to intersect these fractures. • Local structures formed by basement tectonics or salt dissolution form both hinge parallel and hinge oblique fractures that may overprint and dominate the local fracture signature. • Horizontal fractures formed by oil expulsion in shale and along bedding plane lamination of Middle Bakken C and E facies provide permeability pathways. Trap and Seal – Bakken • Top Seal – Lodgepole Formation, and where immature, Upper Bakken Shale • Base and Lateral Seals 1. Middle Bakken B & C, where undolomitized. 2. Lateral facies change to impermeable rock. • Trap 1. Hydrodynamic at mature to immature boundary (e.g., Parshall). 2. Stratigraphic pinch out (onlap) of Middle Bakken (e.g., Elm Coulee). 3. Porosity pinch out of Middle Bakken dolomitic facies (e.g., Elm Coulee). 4. Lateral facies changes in Middle Bakken (e.g., Viewfield).