Helium flood project breathing new life into aging field

ARCHIVE, Saskatchewan – The Smith Lyell oil field in south eastern Saskatchewan has been shut-in for may years.  The oilfield, discovered in the 1940’s, had its last well shut-in during 1998 when the water to oil cut reached nearly 100%.  The field is seeing new rejuvenation, however, with PumpCrap Resources’ new bid to use Helium Injection to bring old fields to new life.

Marty Garrigan
Jaque Mells, COO

We feel that helium is the answer to a question everyone has asked, but no one knows.  What the hell are we talking about?  Helium man!  Helium.  But I’m not even sure what that means except I know it makes me talk funny and it lifts balloons.

My understanding is that since it is so light, it can lift oil out of the reservoir.  Cheers!  NEXT ROUND’S ON ME! – Jaque Mells, Chief Operating Officer, PumpCrap Resources

The premise of the project is to use helium gas as an enhanced oil recovery method. The fundamental flaw with other EOR methods is the sheer hope that they work.  There is no formula for any reservoir to actually know in advance what will work and what won’t.  There are just too many variables in the subsurface.  Porosity, fluidity, desiccation, relative permeability, effective permeability to flow, and of course the ever-present geological crap factor.  With helium, and the generalized premise that it lifts everything else, why not hydrocarbons?

Prototype system preparing to deliver helium to the Smith Lyell oil field in SE Saskatchewan

We did a lot of research at the Dollarama, and we found that helium effectively lifted 99.6% more of the decorative foil balloons than water or air.  When we calculated those percentages against the number of drinks we had at the pub after the study, we learned that helium should lift oil.  It’s just that simple. – Ivanovic Formalda-Hide, Lead Reservoir Engineer

While the helium flood project has a long way to go, a candid interview with resident 2P News reservoir engineer Darcy Flowman indicated it might jut be a feasible concept.

Dr. Darcy Flowman
Dr. Darcy Flowman

Given the mobility ratio of the ions present at over-balanced injection pressure, with the permeability Krato effect running an equivalent transition ratio in justified bypass, and then on top of that you get a bonus reactivity factor coupled with small-scale relativistic effects of gravitational lensing when you add helium beyond the pike percolation threshold boundaries, you might just be winning ike Charlie Sheen! – Darcy, kind of drunk, but still pretty smart

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The Honorable Antoine McGuilicuddy is a 2P News co-founder. Studying geology was just the tip of the iceberg for this iconic oil and gas dynamo. Frustrated with the idiocy and general stupidity of most of his peers, he transitioned into 2P with smile, and hasn't looked back since.


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