$8 million grant will support UW research to enhance hydraulic fracking - Casper, WY Oil City News
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$8 million grant will support UW research to enhance hydraulic fracking

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CASPER, Wyo. — An $8 million grant from the United States Department of Energy will support University of Wyoming researchers working on hydrocarbon gas technology.

The funding will allow researchers “to field test a foam-assisted hydrocarbon gas injection technology that could ultimately recover a higher percentage of stranded oil from unconventional reservoirs in North Dakota’s Bakken Formation,” UW said in a Wednesday, Aug. 9 news release.

The foam involved in the technology works to slow the flow of gas, which allows more oil to be extracted using hydraulic fracturing techniques.

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“’Most of crude oil is left behind after hydraulic fracturing,’” Wyoming Excellence Chair in Petroleum Engineering Mohammed Piri said. “’If this pilot is successful, it’s a game-changing technology that can be used widely across unconventional plays.’”

The funding for UW’s project is among federal grants being provided for five project.

“The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy recently announced that five projects, including UW’s, had been selected to receive approximately $39.9 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects,” UW said. “The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage all of the selected projects.”

$2 million in additional funding will be provided by UW, the Hess Corporation and Dow Industrial Solutions.

“’The University of Wyoming continues our strong commitment to the development of new technologies in energy research,’ Acting UW President Neil Theobald says. ‘Such leading-edge research by the Center of Innovation for Flow through Porous Media (COIFPM) is critically important to the economy of Wyoming and to the research mission of this university.’”

The research hopes to gain knowledge that will help “calibrate computational simulators to better predict field performance; assess and mitigate potential risks; and ensure successful implementation in the field,” according to UW.

The research will be done in the UW High Bay Research Facility’s Center of Innovation for Flow through Porous Media.