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Centers of Excellence

Oil and Gas

Today’s energy and environmental needs require the expertise of a total-systems team that can focus on technical details while retaining a broad perspective. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has more than 65 years of experience providing solutions for clean, efficient coal combustion.

Working closely with industry and government agencies, the EERC has developed tools and approaches specifically focused on resource assessment and optimization of exploration and production performance.
The EERC has also conducted numerous small- and large-scale demonstrations.


  • Resource assessments, CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR), and geophysical interpretation
  • Measurement, monitoring, and verification systems
  • Petroleum engineering, geologic characterization, and reservoir simulation, including geophysics and seismic characterization
  • Geological analysis techniques, including petrophysical, geomechanical, geochemical, and minimum miscibility pressure testing
  • Information systems design and data management
  • Produced fluids processing and pipelines
  • Well pad environmental challenges: emissions and technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM), reduced gas flaring, and wastewater management and remediation



Bakken Production Optimization Program (BPOP)

The EERC is engaged in a research program with the goal of simultaneously improving Bakken system oil recovery while reducing its environmental footprint. Now in its fourth year, BPOP aims to increase well productivity and the economic output of North Dakota’s oil and gas resources, increase reserves, decrease environmental impacts of wellsite operations, and reduce demand for infrastructure construction and maintenance.

Interactive Bakken Map/Decision Support System

To track the Bakken’s rapid growth, the EERC developed a Web-based geographic information system (GIS), the Bakken decision support system (BDSS), which conveniently assembles data for the Bakken and Three Forks Formations into a GIS application, enabling users to visualize geologic and production information.

Bakken CO2 EOR and Storage Program

While the use of CO2 in conventional reservoirs is a widely applied practice, its use for EOR in tight oil reservoirs is a relatively new concept. If successful, the large-scale injection of CO2 into the Bakken will not only increase oil production and reserves but will also result in the geologic storage of significant amounts of CO2. The EERC has conducted laboratory and modeling activities to examine the potential for CO2 storage and EOR in the Bakken. The ultimate goal of this multidisciplinary research program is to provide industry with insight regarding the potential to use CO2 for EOR in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations.

Liquid Gathering Pipelines: A Comprehensive Analysis

Section 8 of North Dakota House Bill 1358 directed the EERC to study the key aspects of gathering pipelines in North Dakota. Specifically, the EERC evaluated existing regulations on construction and monitoring of crude oil and produced water pipelines, determined the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of requiring leak detection and monitoring technology on new and existing pipeline systems, and provided recommendations to the North Dakota Industrial Commission and the Energy Development and Transmission Committee.


Charles Gorecki
Director of Subsurface R&D

Brian Kalk
Director of Energy Systems Development

Energy & Environmental Research Center

15 North 23rd Street, Stop 9018
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018

Useful Links

Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership

Partnership for CO2 Capture (PCO2C) Technology Development

Bakken: Beyond the Boom

VIDEO: Pressurized CO2 and Crude Oil Interaction