UND’s Energy and Environmental Resource Center has secured two grants totaling more than $16 million for enhanced oil recovery research.

Sen. John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, announced in a press release on Wednesday, July 17, that the U.S. Department of Energy awarded two grants to the EERC. The funds come from the DOE’s Advanced Technologies for Enhanced Oil Recovery program.

Charlie Gorecki, incoming CEO of the EERC, said there is additional money associated with the grants as a part of a cost-share with the Center’s industrial partners.

Gorecki said the grants will be used for two enhanced oil recovery projects, including one in Montana that has been underway since 2012 and looks at how carbon dioxide can help with oil recovery. The $8 million grant will look at adding components of natural gas to further the project. The other $8 million will be used for a future project in Bowman County, which will be done on a horizontal well; typically, these enhanced oil recovery projects have been done on vertical wells, Gorecki said. Both projects are with Denbury Resources.

“Both of those projects are next-generation, enhanced oil recovery projects,” Gorecki said.

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Hoeven said North Dakota has been able to “emerge as an energy powerhouse” due to the constant innovation of the state’s energy industry, of which the EERC has been a part.

“The EERC’s work makes vital contributions toward ensuring the Bakken remains a viable oil player,” Hoeven said in a statement. “These funds will help EERC to better develop enhanced oil recovery techniques, using captured CO2 and other means to improve the efficiency of our energy production, extend the productivity of wells throughout the region and ensure a stronger economy for years to come.”