Devon’s new enhanced oil recovery project in Wyoming is expected to produce 27 million to 30 million barrels of oil over the life of the project.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead was on hand for Devon’s Sept. 23, 2015, dedication of the project, called Big Sand Draw. The field is near Riverton, Wyo.

Mead, who also is chairman of the Western Governors Association, has been a proponent of the environmental and economic benefits of enhanced oil recovery.

Devon began operations at Big Sand Draw in June 2015. Combined with the nearby Beaver Creek C02 enhanced oil recovery facility, Devon’s oil production from the Wind River Basin is expected to increase to more than 8,000 barrels per day by the second half of 2016.

CO2 injection has brought new life to the 70-year-old Big Sand Draw field. When C02 is injected into the reservoir, it mixes with the oil trapped in the rock. It then swells the oil and reduces its viscosity, making it easier to flow through the rock to the producing wells. Once the combined oil and C02 come out of the wellhead, the C02 separates out of the oil, is captured, compressed and re-injected.

Prior to CO2 injection, Big Sand Draw produced an average of 100 barrels of oil per day. Production has steadily ramped up since June and is expected to peak at more than 5,000 barrels per day.

Several technological advances were built into the Big Sand Draw facility that will significantly reduce vapor emissions by capturing and reusing natural gas to help power the plant. Devon’s operations include a plant to recycle and recompress the CO2 for reinjection.

Published: October 2015