Resource Abstract

Modeling and Simulation of the Inyan Kara Formation to Estimate Saltwater Disposal Potential: Final Report

Date Published: 6/15/2018

Resource Abstract

The rapid increase in oil and gas production within the Bakken petroleum system has resulted in a substantial increase in the volume of produced brine requiring disposal in western North Dakota, approximately 94% of which is disposed via deep well injection into the sandstone units of the Inyan Kara Formation. The increase in brine disposal volumes raises questions about the long-term viability of the Inyan Kara Formation as a disposal target. This report describes a modeling and simulation effort performed by the EERC to evaluate the effects of current and possible future saltwater disposal (SWD) operations on reservoir pressure and long-term disposal potential. The reservoir simulation model was used to estimate the current distribution of reservoir pressure and injected salinity plumes as a result of SWD beginning in 1961. Several potential future scenarios were simulated to evaluate the distribution of pressure and salinity within the formation with continued SWD and to aid in identification of areas that may be conducive or problematic for siting of new SWD wells. The results provide general indications of the formation’s long-term storage potential and help to predict localized areas of reservoir pressurization that may currently or could exist in the future with current SWD rates and well locations.

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