Through the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Research Program, Creedence Energy Services is being awarded funding for use of biosurfactant treatment trials.

“I think for North Dakota this is critically important because the current economic climate around the industry, it can be pretty bleak,” Creedance Energy Services Technical Services Manager, Eric Nelson said.

Nelson says the trials will evaluate the green-effective, 100% biodegradable, biosurfactants’ ability to sustainably increase oil mobility and production, compared to the synthetic chemical surfactants already in use now.

“The declining curve of a shale well does have a precipitous drop-off and with current regulatory policies and oil prices we’re not looking to see a whole lot of a replacement production with that drop-off, so technology like this that we’re trying to bring here can help curve that,” Nelson said.

Nelson says the eco-friendly biosurfactant treatments were developed through Locus Bio-Energy Solutions.

“What’s unique about our technology is that the inputs made to make the chemistry are fatty acids and oils, vegetable oils and sugar, and where this surfactant is manufactured, it’s a very low impact and green activity through plants that can be set up in a matter of months to manufacture the active chemical that’s used in these type of treatments,” Locus Bio-Energy Solutions Technical Director, Marty Shumway said.

Locus Bio-Energy already has operations across the country but will be the first of its kind in the Bakken.

“A lot of the traditional surfactants they’re not going to stick to the rock, they’re not going to hang out, they’re not going to last long. Also, the micelle size, which is kind of like the clusters that these chemicals form are incredibly small, less than two or three nanometers, so it can access 50-70% more than the Bakken Reservoir and the Bakken Core Rock than previous technology and surfactants that have been tried,” Nelson said.

“This is a great opportunity for us in a basin that we’re currently not operating and being able to partner with Creedence with this application. It’s a great thing for us, it’s great to have the support of Creedence and also the support of the grant to get some of this work completed,” Shumway said.

Nelson says they plan to begin the trials in the next couple months.