A team of Oklahoma State University researchers and 11 energy companies are working together to discover the best way to recover oil and natural gas from the vast Mississippi Lime formation that underlies much of northern Oklahoma and western Kansas.
Led by OSU geology professor Michael Grammer, the researchers at the Boone Pickens School of Geology will spend the next two years looking at the complicated rock layers to help determine the best location and methods for drilling.
“One of the biggest problems is that because the Mississippian reservoir is so heterogeneous, nobody knows how it's distributed,” Grammer said. “The fundamental question of where the reservoir is is a starting point for this project.”
“It's a very complex play,” said Earl Reynolds, chief operating officer at Oklahoma City-based Chaparral Energy.
“Through our work with OSU, we've come up with a nice project to understand the rock in more detail and gain information to better understand the play.”
Chaparral controls 260,000 net Mississippi Lime acres and is a member of the OSU consortium.
Such partnerships are common throughout the industry, but they are especially important with the drilling required to produce oil and natural gas from complex shale, lime and other unconventional rock formations, Reynolds said.
“What makes these resource plays work is unlocking the real value that comes from a broad technical understanding of what makes them commercial,” Reynolds said. “If you don't collaborate with industry partners, you tend to delay your understanding.”
Cooperation is key