Tag Archives: michigan geology

Carbon Capture & Sequestration (#CCS) – Michigan’s Leading Role

Respectmyplanet.org (RMP) is a Michigan based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to water conservation through smarter energy production & waste management logistics. RMP, like many environmental groups, advocates for the increased adoption of wind energy and solar energy to meet the world’s energy needs. RMP advocates for the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles for cleaner air, a stronger economy, and energy independence.  RMP seeks common sense energy solutions to wean ourselves off of oil & coal and to improve our economy and national security. To read RMP’s thesis post on the responsible migration away from crude oil as an energy source you can click here.

Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs)
Seven different Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs) have been established by the US Department of Energy to help develop the technology, infrastructure, and regulations to implement large-scale CO2 storage. (Credit: US Dept of Energy)

RMP understands, however, coal and crude oil will be around years to come even if we try our best to adopt better alternatives for producing energy. RMP takes a rational, common sense, & global approach about energy feed stocks like crude oil & coal.  We have to do our best to mitigate adverse effects from fossil fuels as long as we continue to use them.

This post is about Carbon Capture & Sequestration (#CCS) in Michigan and RMP’s exclusive new map of all #CCS wells in Michigan. Even as RMP advocates for the responsible migration away from crude oil as an energy source, RMP supports #CCS oil production as a means to keep our American workers working as we wean ourselves off of oil and work to build clean and sustainable hydrogen infrastructure for future generations. Michigan is well poised to produce secondary recovery oil by sequestering CO2.  Michigan can be a leader in this technology’s research and development.  #CCS technology learned and proven in Michigan can be exported to help poorer countries that will be burning coal for a long time to come.  India, for example, on October 2, 2016 signed the Paris Climate Agreement which is almost fully ratified.  Indian President Narendra Modi called on fully developed countries like ours to export technology like Michigan’s #CCS tech to help India product cleaner energy. Later in this post we will go over why Michigan is well suited to truly be a global leader in R&D for #CCS technology, but first let’s go over the basics of #CCS.

What is Carbon Capture & Sequestration (#CCS)?

If you’ve been following RMP, like you should be on either Twitter or facebook, you already know what Carbon Capture & Sequestration is. Carbon Capture & Sequestration (also known as #CCS) is the capture of Carbon Dioxide from anthropogenic sources like power plants, cement manufacturing, and fertilizer manufacturing where the CO2 is piped to an abandoned oil well and pumped underground rather than being released to atmosphere.   CO2 is a greenhouse gas (GHG) and there is broad consensus amongst scientists that our planet’s climate is being impacted in a negative way by human activities like producing energy using fossil fuels that emit CO2 when burned. You’ll often hear the term anthropogenic CO2, which means CO2 produced by human activities as opposed to naturally occurring CO2.

#CCS Carbon Capture & Sequestration
Merit Energy’s #CCS unit in Kalkaska, Michigan. The well pictured, the State Kalkaska F 2-24 WIW, is a water injection well that is part of a three well #CCS unit. Often times in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) there are two methods to “shape” the recovery of Remaining Oil In Place (ROIP) within the reservoir. Sometimes the first part of EOR using #CCS is called the immiscible portion of the project whereby water is injected into the reservoir. The second part, the miscible portion, is when the CO2 is injected into the reservoir. Immiscible means that water and oil do not mix, and miscible means that CO2 & oil do mix.

The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) is a great place to start if you want to learn about #CCS in Michigan or other Midwestern states. The US Department of Energy has divided North America into seven different Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs) and Michigan falls into the MRCSP. RMP encourages you to check out the MRCSP website and to read about the many things going on in our region. You can also check out the US Dept of Energy’s Carbon Capture & Storage Resource Center’s webpage by clicking here. I also encourage you to read Senate Bill S.3179 which is new legislation being sponsored by Heidi Heitkamp that incentivizes #CCS by offering up to a $20 per metric ton credit of CO2 sequestered into a secure geologic formation.

An estimated 1.2 billion barrels of potential oil recovery by CO2-EOR was calculated for our MRCSP region based on available data for 265 oil fields in the Midwest. Oil and gas reservoirs within the MRCSP region have an estimated storage resource capacity of 8,511 million metric tons (MMt). Based on an estimated 850 MMt per year of CO2 emissions, these reservoirs could sequester approximately 10 years worth of CO2 in our region.(1) Detailed reservoir characterization, geologic mapping, and modeling and simulation at the field-scale level are the next steps required to delineate prospective areas for future pilot floods and to plan successful CO2-EOR and sequestration projects within our region.

CO2 Wells in Michigan
This is a static map of all CO2 flooding EOR units in Michigan. This map is the kind you often see on most websites, a static screenshot. RMP, however, hosts this map as an interactive map where you can zoom in, click on the markers, get access to the well files, upload pictures to the location & more! Scroll to the bottom of this post to see our interactive map, or click here to open our new interactive map of Michigan CO2 wells in a new window.  Click image to enlarge.

In addition to geological considerations, other factors that come into play when evaluating CO2-EOR potential in a region include (1) location and availability of CO2 sources (e.g., power plants, steel mills, cement plants) and proximity to oil reservoirs, (2) well spacing, (3) unitization issues, (4) location of improperly plugged wells and well-bore integrity, and (5) economic considerations.

The Department of Energy has divided the process of #CCS into three distinct phases which have been ongoing for years now.   Phase 1 was the characterization phase which led to the Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the US & Canada which was last updated in 2012. Phase 2 was the validation phase where 20 small scale geologic storage tests were completed to validate reservoir simulation models, demonstrate accounting methods, and develop guidelines for future projects. Phase 3 is the development phase which is where we are now. Currently there are only six sites throughout the US & Canada that are undergoing Phase 3 long-term CO2 injection projects to validate the science on storage of large volumes of CO2. Michigan is home to one of those six sites.  The Dover 2-33 well in Otsego County, which is pictured as the featured image on this post (photo credit: MCRSP) is a well in this small cadre of exclusive projects in North America. As of August 31, 2016 Michigan’s Dover 33 EOR Unit (as it’s called) has sequestered 580,687 tons of CO2, produced 515,284 barrels of oil, provided 170 jobs yielding more than $7.1 million dollars of income, generated $1.3 million in severance & sales taxes, and provided $3.6 million of other taxes & royalties(2). We’ll talk more about what’s going in Michigan with #CCS later in this post.

Why is #CCS Important?

We must face the reality that fossil fuels will be in use for years to come.  We must mitigate damaging effects of producing energy from fossil fuels while we work earnestly to move away from them.   RMP uses data and science to support our work and we are hoping  folks  will educate themselves about the ugly truths regarding energy production and why it’s important to face facts.   RMP hopes that impassioned environmentalist types against fossil fuels will do more than just cheerlead wind & solar.   Supporting wind & solar are great initiatives, but we have to give consideration to the reality of fossil fuels in our lives, our dependency on them, and how we can reduce pollution from them while we work to get off of them.

CCS Carbon Sequestration
This is a representation of a CO2 injection well in Michigan prepared by Batelle. In this example, the Otsego Central Processing Facility separates CO2 from CH4 in raw Antrim gas. The CO2 is piped over to an injection well and about 6,000 feet to a Niagaran Pinnacle Reef formation (orange bubble near bottom of image). That CO2 “pushes” the oil over to the production well where the pressure forces it up to the surface. The CO2 is removed from the oil again and piped back over to the injection well.

If fossil fuels were eliminated overnight there would be big problems because of disruptions to our energy needs. This is because crude oil and coal have become an entrenched part of our economy and energy mix over decades.   Crude oil and coal didn’t come about overnight and they’re not going to disappear overnight. RMP is a leading non-profit research & watchdog organization of oil production in Michigan and we take on the API on a regular basis with regard to avarice, ignobility, and their misleading ad campaigns. RMP understands, however, that ending the use of crude oil for energy will be a migration that takes time and we must protect the workers who will need new jobs as we make a transition to smarter forms of energy production. RMP will never give the API or their cohorts a free pass for misleading the public, but we have to be realistic about our own culpability in the energy infrastructure that surrounds us today. RMP advocates for education and understanding with regard to our own complicity of oil usage in our economy; pots calling kettles black will get us nowhere. We all must work together to learn geology and energy science to make real progress.

 

#CCS
The MRCSP surveyed multiple locations within our midwest region for Phase 2 sequestration projects. In all of North America, Michigan now has one of only six Phase 3 sequestration projects underway in all of North America. (Image Credit:  MRCSP)

#CCS is a must for becoming GHG Negative and keeping American oil field workers employed while we ramp up new and less volatile jobs in a sustainable hydrogen economy.  Producing oil from the sequestration of CO2 is one of the ways environmentalists and an oil industry in its winter years should be able to find common ground.

#CCS is important right now to help us make an impact on reducing anthropogenic GHG emissions to atmosphere. Not only is coal going to continue to be an part of providing energy for American consumers for years to come, it is integral to bringing energy to developing countries around the world. Coal is also used in the manufacture of cement all over the world. Fertilizer production is also a large contributor of CO2. There is no magic wand to wave when it comes to a creating a carbon neutral or GHG negative economy.

RMP recently blogged about how ExxonMobil is poised to be one of the biggest difference makers in reducing GHG emissions because of their partnership with Fuel Cell Energy using #CCS & molten carbonate fuel cells.

#CCS is an immediate concern.  We must reduce GHGs from established sources that currently produce a majority percentage of our energy and will continue to persist for the foreseeable future. The longer term concern is developing new energy infrastructure that does not produce GHGs like wind & solar coupled with the production of hydrogen for fuel cells.  Making H2 for storage from wind and solar is important for using renewable sources for base load energy for those times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

#CCS carbon dioxide
As of June 21, 2016 the atmospheric concentration of CO2 registered at 406.6 ppm.  This is the brand new statistic from the famous Mauna Loa Observatory that everyone has been talking about all week long. As you can see from the this graph, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is rising steadily and the #1 contributor is power generation through the combustion of coal. RMP works hard to educate people about how coal & natural gas can be used without combustion and without releasing CO2, SOx, NOx, Mercury, or particulate matter to atmosphere. Solar and wind are great and RMP advocates for them, but this graph trend will not change without #CCS. If you don’t think #CCS is higher priority than solar & wind growth for climate change, you’re peddling junk science. (source: Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Michigan can be a leader for #CCS technology in the world. Developing and proving out the processes of capturing and sequestering CO2 can be shared with countries like India, China, and many other countries that will be using coal for decades to come.

What Is Going On With #CCS In Michigan?

Michigan has 10 different EOR units employing #CCS made up of 37 wells. One unit is in Kalkaska and the other 9 are in the Gaylord area. You can click here to see RMP’s map of all of Michigan’s CO2 sequestration wells or you can scroll to the bottom of this post to see our brand new CO2 sequestration map of well units. RMP has been developing PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL software using the Google Maps API v3 for over 7 years now. RMP’s new #CCS interactive Google map is one of the new showcase features we can program up that you just can’t find elsewhere on the Internet. RMP’s Michigan made software is becoming more powerful by the month and soon major upgrades are going to be implemented to make our maps even more user-friendly and easy to use. It’s easy to make a Google Map of restaurants or store locations, but RMP’s software is much different. RMP’s environmental mapping software allows us to use SQL queries to map specific data that can help scientists and educators get the maps that matter.

CO2
Roughly three quarters of all CO2 emissions come from power generation. This is why RMP advocates for coal gasification, HELE coal plants, and carbon dioxide capture & sequestration. Coal is going to be used for decades to come whether you would like it not. We might agree that solar & wind are capable of providing all of our energy one day, but that day is in the future. Let’s focus on science and education and stop witch hunting energy producers. We need to work together on solutions that make progress.  How can energy consumers have any less culpability than energy producers?  We must get rational and speak out against the fear mongering and junk science rhetoric of groups like Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, and so many others that  ironically threaten our environment and water more than they help it.

RMP has been publishing our Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly watchdog magazine for two years now and we have been writing about a Michigan company named Core Energy LLC. Core Energy LLC is a leader in Michigan #CCS and is one of the only operators in Michigan currently capturing and sequestering CO2 into secure geologic formations. Core is the only operator in Michigan currently executing a US Department of Energy Phase 3 long term high-volume CO2 sequestration project. Merit Energy & Jordan Development are also pursuing #CCS in Michigan to a lesser extent.

In EOR using CO2, one or more wells are the injection wells and one or more wells are the producing wells. The idea is that the injection well is being used to push the oil over to the other well. Think of two straws poked vertically through the lid on either end of a shoebox where the shoebox is the hydrocarbon reservoir and the straws are the well bores.   You inject something, in this case CO2, down the one straw into this closed loop system and that injection forces something out the other straw.

Michigan is a great test bed for developing #CCS technology because we have all the proper ingredients to make it cost effective. Remember RMP’s philosophy: always follow the money. If things can’t be done economically, they won’t get done. Money always has a critical role in energy projects. The cost of developing new technology is always higher because there is a learning curve associated with it. Michigan has a lot going for it with regard to #CCS because we have an abundance of all the ingredients to help keep the R&D costs of #CCS projects low. Let’s look at the fundamental things needed to make a #CCS project economical:

  • You need formations that can accept the CO2 and produce oil which helps offset the costs of the R&D, labor costs, and CO2 infrastructure costs. Michigan has 800 known Silurian (Niagaran-Age) Pinnacle Reefs in our Niagaran formation from Manistee to Gaylord and then some.
  • You need oil & gas know-how, infrastructure, and regulatory agencies that can oversee the safety of the project and the protection of our most valuable natural resource: fresh water. Michigan has thousands of wells drilled into the Niagaran formation, experienced operators, and we also have the MDEQ to oversee regulatory requirements to protect our fresh water.
  • You need an abundant supply of anthropogenic carbon dioxide nearby to pipeline over to these Niagaran wells in order to pump the CO2 underground and sequester it. Michigan has thousands and thousands of Middle Devonian Antrim Shale gas wells very near the Niagaran wells that produce roughly 80% natural gas and 20% carbon dioxide.  The Antrim makes over 1 million tons of CO2 each year that has otherwise just been vented to atmosphere.

Michigan is a prime candidate to develop #CCS technology as we meet all the main requirements very well. This is why the US Department of Energy chose Michigan as one of only six sites developing Phase 3 #CCS projects in the United States and Canada. Michigan’s Middle Devonian Age Antrim Shale generates approximately 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year from six central processing facilities which is currently vented to atmosphere. One of the largest gas-processing facilities in Otsego County generates about 1 billion cubic feet of CO2 each month on average over the last 10 years that has been vented to atmosphere.   The average CO2 vented to atmosphere each year from this facility is about 15 billion cubic feet and the average CO2 produced from the Antrim as a whole is about 21 billion cubic feet each year. This CO2 is high quality CO2 for pipelines at about 99% purity.(3)

CO2 map
This map shows locations of carbon storage field tests under the United States Department of Energy partnership program. Field tests are an essential step toward commercial deployment of #CCS technology. (source: U.S. Dept of Energy)

Let’s do some math to put Antrim CO2 production into perspective: If we convert 21 billion cubic feet of CO2 to pounds or tons, which is how most newspapers write about CO2 emissions, we have to multiply by a factor of 0.1146 and we get about 2.4 billion pounds of CO2 per year vented from the Antrim. If we divide that figure by 2,000 lbs per ton we get about 1.2 million tons of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere from Michigan’s Antrim Shale each year.

For comparison’s sake, the Monroe Power Plant, the biggest power plant in Michigan @ 3,300MW and powered by burning coal, emits about 34.8 billion pounds of CO2 per year to atmosphere, which is about 17.4 million tons. So, the Monroe Power Plant emits about 14 to 15 times more CO2 to atmosphere than the Antrim Shale as a whole. The Monroe Plant also emits about 104k tons of Sulphur Dioxide, 32k tons of Nitrous Oxides, and 780 lbs of Mercury to atmosphere. The Monroe Plant is ranked 7th in the United States for Carbon Dioxide emissions to atmosphere according to SourceWatch.  The Monroe Plant was ranked 11th in the US for GHG emissions in a September 29, 2016 @freep article you can read by clicking here.

Plants like the Monroe Power Plant and many more are what #CCS technology is really all about down the road.   Companies like Core Energy can use their knowledge and expertise to help reduce the CO2 emissions of plants like the Monroe Power Plant. This is the ultimate goal of #CCS ambitions and why the Department of Energy is helping to fund projects like those undertaken by Core Energy LLC in Northern Michigan. There will be many factors in reducing CO2 emissions from large emission sources but we are closer now than ever before to making these goals safe & economically feasible.

Recently RMP wrote about ExxonMobil & Fuel Cell energy teaming up to add molten carbonate fuel cells to a natural gas power plant in our Fuel Cells 101 post. There is perhaps no greater technology to get excited about than these molten carbonate fuel cells as their CO2 capture signature is like no other diagram out there: they create energy while concentrating CO2 rather than taxing the power plant of energy to capture CO2. Furthermore, molten carbonate fuel cells are modular and can be added as necessary to the power plant depending on the size of the plant thus making their economics better too.

What’s Next for #CCS Proliferation?

As we say repeatedly at RMP: always follow the money. The biggest hurdle with the ambitions of #CCS is and will always be cost.   We are in the nascent stages of #CCS now but these are exciting times for advancements in the entire scope of #CCS technology. Michigan is demonstrating itself as a leader in CO2 sequestration with Core Energy LLC’s work in Northern Michigan at the Dover 33 EOR Unit. Fuel Cell Energy in Danbury, Connecticut is demonstrating that molten carbonate fuel cells are a potential game changer for the mass adoption of #CCS because of their cost effectiveness on the “capture” side of CO2. ExxonMobil is providing financial support to small companies like Fuel Cell Energy to take technologies like molten carbonate fuel cells to the next level of mass adoption.

core energy
RMP covers energy for Michigan and the world. RMP has been writing about oil & gas and fuel cells and other topics like #CCS in Michigan for a long time. Many outlets in Michigan are turning to our organization to get the real data on what’s going on. We are out in the woods and we cover every corner of Michigan. This picture is of a Core Energy well which you can find on our map. RMP cares about Michigan and we are different than any environmental group you’ve ever seen. Follow us to keep up with what’s happening on the Michigan and global energy scene. (Photo Credit: Neo)

RMP is Michigan’s authority on sustainable energy production and you can follow us on Twitter or like us on facebook to get regular updates as we create new energy maps and blog about sustainable energy advancements. Stay tuned as RMP continues to cover developments in #CCS and other advanced energy technologies. RMP will be writing many more posts about #CCS as news and additional information becomes available.

Check Out RMP’s Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Wells in Michigan Map

RMP has been demonstrating our watchdog oil well mapping software since High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) came to Michigan.   We wanted to know where the HVHF wells were in our state and learn more about them but the maps just didn’t exist. We could not get straight answers to our many questions. Sure there was the MDEQ’s GeoWebFace and other mapping applications out there but we needed something more robust. That’s when RMP was born. I have been working as a watchdog regarding Michigan oil well data and writing my own software for about 7 years now and what separates RMP data from other data sources is our supplemental data table and exclusive software. By creating an RMP exclusive table that works in conjunction with MDEQ public data, has added hooks & sorting criteria to Michigan data you just can’t find anywhere else. Want to know which oils have ground water contamination issues? Want to know which wells target the Niagaran formation? Or which wells use CO2 EOR?   There is no other place on the web that can match the Michigan made mapping software exclusive to RMP. Our CO2 EOR map shown below is a great example of a map you just won’t find anywhere else on the internet.

RMP is a small and unfunded non-profit organization and I write this software in my free time. I have a full time job to pay my bills, but we really could use your financial support to get our organization to the next level. If RMP had funding to work full time and pay our volunteers, we could be a leader in environmental organizations in Michigan when it comes to helping Michigan make the transition to sustainable energy and high paying jobs for Michigan workers. RMP is a Michigan based 501(c)3 organization so if you can make a donation to help us continue and expand our organization your donation will be tax deductible. RMP is registered with the Michigan Attorney General’s office to solicit for your donations and we would really appreciate your support to expand what we do. Our overhead is next to nothing as we use all free software apps like PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, HTML, WordPress, and the Google Maps API to bring you this website for free. Our volunteers are also the best researchers in the state and every one of the “big” environmental organizations in Michigan comes to us when they need reliable fact base information. Check out the map below which shows all EOR CO2 wells in Michigan.  This map will evolve as the layout changes in our state and new information becomes available. Click here if you can afford to make a tax-deductible donation to respectmyplanet.org to help our organization grow.   Thank you.

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RMP’s Interactive Map of Michigan’s Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Wells


Click Here To Enlarge RMP’s Michigan’s Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Wells Map

Click Here To Open RMP’s Michigan’s Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Wells Map Map In A New Full Screen Tab

 

Footnotes

1. Geologic Storage Options and Capacities for Carbon Dioxide
Sequestration in the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership
by MRCSP

2. Michigan Phase III Project Update by MRCSP – Note this is a dynamic link and numbers are updated monthly so the numbers quoted at the time of publication will not match the link depending on when you click the link.

3. Matthias Grobe, Jack C. Pashin, Rebecca L. Dodge, Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in Geological Media: State of the Science – American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2009)

Michigan Oil & Gas Production Report January – December 2015

2015 Michigan petroleum production numbers are approximately 98% reported as of today. RMP has always focused on the numbers as they are often greater than adjectives.   Opinions are overrated.  People want to hear the numbers and then decide for themselves.   This is RMP’s fifth year studying, parsing, organizing, compiling, and reporting numbers related to Michigan petroleum production. The information RMP publishes will always be free access to the public. RMP has always followed three fundamental tenets as a research and reporting philosophy:

  • It’s all about the rock. Always respect the geology.
  • Follow the money. Money talks.
  • Follow the wastewater. Waste means inefficiency and problems. Inefficiency and problems mean additional costs. With regard to costs, see point #2.

Following the money has proven to be difficult because of the voluminous and Continue reading Michigan Oil & Gas Production Report January – December 2015

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – November 2015

Michigan has issued 104 permits so far this year through November 20, 2015 and continues its streak of the slowest 6 years in a row ever for oil & gas activity. 14 of the permits issued thus far in 2015 are for pilot & horizontal combinations and should really only count as one.   The numbers through 2015 continue to support RMP’s forecasts and analysis of Michigan oil & gas activity.  With only 104 permits issued in November, it’s still very likely 2015 will be the slowest year in Michigan oil & gas history.  1931 currently holds the record as the slowest year for permitting in Michigan history at 111 permits issued.

According to the US Census Bureau, petroleum as a percentage of the US trade deficit is still at 13.7% even with major production increases in oil production due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
According to the US Census Bureau, petroleum as a percentage of the US trade deficit is still at 13.7% even with major production increases in oil production due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Michigan produces less than 5% of the refined oil products purchased by Michigan consumers. Michigan is ranked 19th in crude oil production in the United States out of 31 producing states. Collective US production of oil from all 31 producing states supplies about only half of the crude products US consumers purchase. The US only holds 2.2% of world crude oil reserves. Recent increases in US production of crude because of technological advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are certainly remarkable and have made a large dent in imported petroleum, but we still only produce about half of the crude oil processed in US refineries.  Oil as an energy source is simply not sustainable even at the currently boosted levels of production.  The USA will perpetually remain in a Continue reading Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – November 2015

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – February 2015

Welcome to Volume 2 of the Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly.   In the featured image above, a GasFrac Energy Services truck rolls westbound down I-96 in Novi Michigan on February 6, 2015.  GasFrac uses a proprietary waterless fracing process to fracture rock with a mixture of liquid petroleum gases.   The main ingredient in their frac fluid is gelled propane (C3H8).

We have seen a poor success rate recently in the A1 Carbonate in Michigan for operators targeting the A1.  Many recent A1 attempts in Michigan have made the HVHF list calling for millions of gallons of water for completion in the application.   Operators have changed their completion techniques on the fly and have moved away from such high volumes of water and hydraulic fracturing altogether; but still have had no success.   One theory is that the water is damaging the formation and it therefore will not produce.  Since gelled propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8), it is soluble in the A1 formation fluids unlike water an perhaps may not Continue reading Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – February 2015

Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – January 2015

Welcome to the first ever edition of the Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly by RMP.   We will be publishing this monthly magazine / newsletter to keep you up to date on activity in the Michigan oil patch.  We will be taking a  look at Michigan hydrocarbon production and fresh water management.  This magazine, like everything else published at RMP, is free and will always be free.  The format will be an article like this one you’re reading with an accompanying video (like the one above) that showcases the same information.

Each month in this report we will be recapping basic activity & statistics from the prior month.  We have already published this post and this post to bring you up to speed on the basics of Michigan petroleum geology and Michigan hydrocarbon production.  As stated in the aforementioned posts, activity in Michigan is at its lowest level in recorded history since records started being kept in 1927.  So, there is not a ton of new activity to report in Michigan as most of the reservoirs we are aware of in the state are conventionally depleted and most new reservoirs found are modest producers as compared to other oil & gas plays in America.  The activity that is going on in Kalkaska, however, is different than anything that’s ever been done in Michigan.  So, even though permit numbers and activity Continue reading Michigan Oil & Gas Monthly – January 2015

Michigan Petroleum Geology 101

Let’s examine the high level 101 basics of hydrocarbons, stratigraphy, and lithology nomenclature in the Michigan Basin.   In Michigan, like everywhere else, we have different layers of rock beneath our feet.   Trapped inside the rocks beneath our feet are hydrocarbons like oil, gas, and coal.   Most of the energy produced in our history and in the world today comes from these subsurface hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon recovery is dictated by the geologic formation and subsurface structures where it has accumulated.  Petroleum geologists look for areas where they think hydrocarbons might be trapped in a reservoir.  The rock in the reservoir must have enough permeability and pressure to get those hydrocarbons to the surface through a well bore whence they can be sold for a profit.  In Michigan, oil has been produced since the late 1800’s and gas has been produced commercially since the early 1900’s.   Michigan had significant oil activity in the 1930’s and 40’s and then a lull through the 50’s.   Activity again picked up in the late 1960’s in the Niagaran reef by the big boys like Amoco, Shell Western, and ExxonMobil because of production capacity discovered while drilling Antrim wells.   Amoco, Shell, and ExxonMobil were successful in the Niagaran reef trend in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula and activity intensified heavily in the 1980’s.  As the economy stagnated and oil prices Continue reading Michigan Petroleum Geology 101

Michigan Oil & Gas Exploration – A Look From 2014

respectmyplanet.org
Have you noticed respectmyplanet.org? We’ve been mapping data related to Michigan’s natural resources and environmental protection.

Welcome to respectmyplanet.org’s first article in a long time published from the WordPress software application.   We’re glad to again be putting stories together that will help people understand more about oil & gas exploration in Michigan.  We have been reviewing Michigan oil & gas data for 4 years now.   We would like to share what we have learned from the past up through the present.  We would also like to write about what future oil & gas exploration might look like in Michigan as our public owned hydrocarbon resources become increasingly more difficult for private companies to recover for profits.

We have a series of posts planned for our oil & gas exploration category that will chronicle events in the Michigan oil patch since January of 2010 when drilling started on a well named the State Pioneer 1-3 HD1 in Missaukee county.  The January through April period of 2010 set the Continue reading Michigan Oil & Gas Exploration – A Look From 2014