Petroleum Technology Transfer Council
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Case Studies

Wattenberg Field

"Wattenberg Field Area, A Near Miss & Lessons Learned After 35 Years of Development History" by Stephen Sonnenberg of Anadarko Petroleum, and member of the PTTC Producers Advisory Group, and Robert Weimer, Professor Emeritus, at the Colorado School of Mines. This presentation was first given at an RMAG luncheon talk on August 18, 2006. Click here to link to this paper.

Seminal Bakken Paper

"Origins and Characteristics of the Basin-Centered Continuous Reservoir Unconventional Oil-Resource Base of the Bakken Source System, Williston Basin" by the late Leigh Price of the USGS. Click here to link to this paper. Please note that this paper has not been published in any journal or vetted by the author's peers.

Bakken Play Essentials

The following presentations were given as Short Course #1, sponsored by PTTC and the Montana Geological Society, at the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section meeting in Jackson, Wyoming on September 24, 2005.  All files are in pdf format.

Overview of Bakken Stratigraphy and "Mini" Core Workshop (4.3MB) by Julie LeFever of the North Dakota Geological Survey, Grand Forks, ND. A complete selection of papers on the Bakken is available from the North Dakota State Website

Core Technology for Evaluating the Bakken (2.5MB) by John Kieschnick and Roberto Suarez-Rivera, TerraTek, Salt Lake City, UT.

Log analysis in the Bakken; A Case Study (4.9MB) by Michael Holmes, Digital Formation, Denver, CO. To contact Michael Holmes click here. The company website is at

Multilateral Completions and Whipstock Misalignment in the Williston Basin (3.0MB) by Gary Gill, Schlumberger, Calgary, AB.

Bakken Completion Practices (2.8MB) by Tom Lantz, Halliburton, Denver, CO.

Introduction and Early History of the Bakken Play in Montana (0.9MB) by Dick Findley, Prospector Oil, Inc., Billings, MT.

Central Utah - A New Oil and Gas Province (7.5MB pdf)

This presentation by Floyd Moulton and Michael Pinnell of Pioneer Oil and Gas gives an update on one of the most exciting onshore plays in the USA. It was given at the RMS-AAPG Meeting in Jackson, Wyoming in September 2005.

The Importance of Completion Design

What do we get for the time and money we invest in completions? Should we continue to increase our efforts in this segment of the industry, or should we simplify completions and spend money in more profitable ventures? This study looks at the effect of completions from the perspective of forensics or even an autopsy in a very mature tight oil sandstone.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Direct Electrical Generation Fueled by Hydrocarbons

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electricity and heat more efficiently than other combustion based processes because they have no moving parts. Most fuel cells can only tolerate hydrogen fuel and require an additional external process such as steam reforming to produce it. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can be directly fueled with hydrocarbons such as methane, propane, and even petroleum liquids without additional processing.

The Williston Basin: the Premier "Next Generation" Coalbed Methane Play in the Rocky Mountain/Northern Great Plains

The Williston Basin of North Dakota is estimated to contain more than 530 billion tons of sub-bituminous and lignite coal. Calculations based upon these volumes, and gas-sorption values from nearby biogenic methane producing basins yield in-place methane gas reserve estimates of greater than 13TCF.

Exploitation of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Using Intelligent Computing Software

A series of software tools for integration of seismic and well data has been written by Luff Exploration Company, a Denver-based independent operator. Under a cooperative project with the National Petroleum Technology Office of the U.S. Department of Energy, Luff Exploration Company is applying these tools for analysis of carbonate reservoirs in the southern Williston Basin. Named an Intelligent Computing System for Reservoir Characterization (ICS), the integrated software programs are designed for use by small teams consisting of an engineer, geologist and geophysicist. Use the link above for more information and a site to download beta software.

Coalbed Methane Potential - Denver Basin Workshop

The Rocky Mountain Region has seen a boom in coalbed methane development in the past several years. While some of the basins enjoy great drilling activity, the Denver (DJ) Basin stands out; it has a history of coal mining, but evaluation of coalbed methane potential has not been aggressively pursued. These Late Cretaceous Laramie Formation and Early Tertiary Denver Formation coals appear to hold some potential for coalbed methane by virtue of their measured gas contents and heating values, shallow depths, and areas of reasonable thickness and continuity. It appears to be a very large resource, estimated at 2.2 TCF, so it deserves some industry attention. However, the environmental issues associated with the proximity to a large metropolitan area have been of great concern.

The Colorado Geological survey has recently completed a data compilation titled: The Coalbed Methane Potential in the Upper Cretaceous to Early Tertiary Laramie and Denver Formations, Denver Basin, Colorado. This CD-ROM contains chemical, physical, structural and stratigraphic information on Denver Basin coals, in a GIS format. The CD-ROM is available for purchase on the Colorado Geological Survey website: This new data resource was the inspiration for a workshop entitled "Coalbed Methane Potential of the Denver Basin", presented by PTTC Rocky Mountain Region and the Colorado Geological Survey on September 28, 2001 at the Denver Athletic Club. PTTC is pleased to present the abstracts and slide shows from that workshop via the Internet, and thanks the many authors for their permission to provide this information to the oil and gas community.

Water Shut-off Treatment Seminar and Demonstration

The Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center is proud to present a practical seminar on the shut-off of unwanted water production using crosslinked polymer gel technology. The lecture notes from this seminar are designed to help oil and gas producers improve the profitability and environmental compliance of their operations.

Data Mining at the Nebraska Oil & Gas Commission

New data mining techniques (artificial intelligence) were applied to establish relationships between 140 waterflood unitization regulatory hearings and the subsequent secondary-to-primary recovery ratio for a field in the Nebraska panhandle. The correlation was used to predict that the Cliff Farms Unit will produce about 103,000 bbl of secondary oil.

Improved Reservoir Management/Characterization for Independent Operators in Mature Basins

This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2000 SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium in Tulsa, April 4, 2000. For the full case study, see SPE Paper # 59299 (

Planting Crops on Land Spread with Tank Bottoms: A Possible Disposal Solution for Oilfields

Bioremediation of oil spills has been studied extensively over the past thirty years. This is a process in which naturally occurring microorganisms consume the oil and produce CO2 and H2O as by-products

Oilfield Waste Disposal Using Low-Cost Techniques: Three Success Stories From Weld County, CO, USA

This report is written about a recent field trip presented by PTTC Rocky Mountain Region during the 2000 Hazardous Waste Research Conference in Denver, Colorado. Three operations that handle oilfield waste disposal of oil-contaminated soils (with landfarming), and fluids (tank bottoms) through oil/water/solids separation are showcased.

This site includes a detailed report on reservoir compartmentalization in the Terry Sandstone of the Denver Basin. In addition to viewing the reports, you can download and print structure and stratigraphic maps, cross-sections and the tops data that were used in these interpretations.

Ratcliffe Core Study and Photographs, Richland Co., Montana, USA

This site contains a core and petrographic study of the Charles Formation (Meramecian), Ratcliffe member from northeast Richland Co, Montana. Graphical descriptions are presesnted from slabbed cores and augmented by petrographic study of thin sections. Links to photographs of the cores provide capability for downloading. This study was part of a National Petroleum Technology Office - U.S. Department of Energy Class 2 project with Luff Exploration Company, Denver, Colorado.

Red River Core Study and Photographs, Bowman Co., North Dakota and Harding Co., South Dakota, USA

This site contains a core and petrographic study of the Ordovician Red River (Champlainian-Cincinnatian) from portions of Bowman Co., North Dakota and Harding Co., South Dakota. Graphical descriptions are presented from slabbed cores and augmented by petrographic study of thin sections. Links to photographs of the cores provide capability for downloading. This study was part of a National Petroleum Technology Office - U.S. Department of Energy Class 2 project with Luff Exploration Company, Denver, Colorado.

Polymer Treatments for D Sand Water Injection Wells, Weld County, Colorado

This site contains descriptions of polymer treatments for D Sand water injection wells. Polymer-gel treatments in injection wells were evaluated for improving sweep efficiency in the D Sandstone reservoir at the Sooner Unit, Weld County, Colorado.

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Petroleum Technology Transfer Council