Whiting Petroleum is looking to either spin this area off as a trust, or sell it for between $800M - $1B:
Pete Hagist is vice president of operations for the Permian Basin for Whiting Petroleum Corp. Based in Midland, Tx., he is responsible for all the company’s enhanced oil recovery projects using the injection of carbon dioxide. Those projects include the Postle Field in Texas County in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The Postle Field was discovered by Mobil Oil Co. in 1958, Hagist points out. Mobil instituted a waterflood in 1966, and in 1971, the field reached peak production of 23,000 boe/d. After its output declined to 1,600 boe/d in 1995, CO2 flood operations began. ExxonMobil sold the Postle Field to Celero Energy in 2004, and a year later Whiting purchased the field, then producing 4,200 boe/d.
“In 2004, it was a field in a state of decline,” Hagist says. “Whiting designed an expansion of the flood first installed by Mobil, expanding EOR CO2 operations fieldwide. We now are working on the final phase, HMU III. We got a textbook response. We took it from 4,000 boe/d to 10,000 boe/d, using enhanced reservoir monitoring and characterization, improved computer power and dramatic technology improvement.”
Using forecasting tools to manage and control the flood, Whiting can see results every 24 hours, he reports. “The precision to manage and control the flood has improved dramatically,” he points out. “The response has a lot to do with technology. We have gotten good response out of lower-quality wells.”
The Postle Field includes 26,000 acres, with 285 MMboe in place, and has 215 production and 150 injector wells in the Morrow Sandstone, at 6,100 feet. Hagist says the Postle Field still has a lot of life left in it.
“We achieved peak oil production at 10,000 boe/d in 2010,” he offers. “It is roughly at 8,500 boe/d on a flat production rate today. We expect it to remain flat for the next three years and then have a gentle decline for the next 15 years.”
He says Whiting is injecting 115 MMcf/d of CO2, of which 36 MMcf is new and the rest is recycled. Whiting owns the TransPetCo pipeline, the only pipeline that brings CO2 into Oklahoma from the Bravo Dome in eastern New Mexico.
Hagist calls the Postle a “wonderful EOR field. There is no issue with miscibility and it has excellent rock characteristics,” he says.
He reports the recovery rate is 18-20 percent, which he points out is higher than Whiting’s North Ward Estes Field in the Permian Basin. Hagist adds that there are other fields in the Mid-Continent that would be good candidates for CO2 EOR projects, but the “challenge is access to CO2.”