- Copyright ©2006. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Division of Environmental Geosciences. All rights reserved.
Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3 (NPR-3), better known as the Teapot Dome oil field, is the last United States federally owned and operated oil field. This gives us a unique opportunity for experiments to provide scientific and technical insight into CO2-enhanced oil recovery and other topics involving subsurface fluid behavior. Toward that end, a combination of federal, academic, and industrial support has produced outstanding characterizations of important oil- and brine-bearing reservoirs there. This effort provides an unparalleled opportunity for industry and others to use the site. Data sets include geological, geophysical, geochemical, geomechanical, and operational data across a wide range of geological boundary conditions. Importantly, these data, many in digital form, are available in the public domain because of NPR-3's federal status. Many institutions are already using parts of the Teapot Dome data set as the basis for a variety of geoscience, modeling, and other research efforts.
Fifteen units, nine oil bearing and six brine bearing, have been studied to varying degrees. More than 1200 wells in the field are active or accessible, and more than 400 of these penetrate 11 formations located below the depth that corresponds to the supercritical point for CO2. Studies include siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs; shale, carbonate, and anhydrite cap rocks; fractured and unfractured units; and overpressured and underpressured zones. Geophysical data include three-dimensional (3-D) seismic and vertical seismic profiles. Reservoir data include stratigraphic, sedimentological, petrologic, petrographic, porosity, and permeability data. These have served as the basis for preliminary 3-D flow simulations. Geomechanical data include fractures (natural and drilling induced), in-situ stress determination, pressure, and production history. Geochemical data include soil gas, noble gas, and hydrocarbon organic geochemistry. The conditions of these reservoirs directly or indirectly represent many reservoirs in the United States, Canada, and overseas.
S. Julio Friedmann received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from University of Southern California. After graduation, he worked for 5 years as a senior research scientist in Houston, first at Exxon and later ExxonMobil. He next worked as a research scientist at the University of Maryland. In his new appointment as head of the Carbon Management Program for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he leads initiatives and research into carbon capture, carbon storage, and underground coal gasification.
Vicki Stamp has more than 25 years of experience in reservoir and production engineering with Mobil as a consultant and, since 1993, as a contractor and project manager for the U.S. Department of Energy at Naval Petroleum Reserve-3 (Teapot Dome), now the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center. In 2003, she and research partners initiated the CO2 enhanced oil recovery and geologic storage testing program at Teapot Dome, for which she is program manager.