OIL & GAS
CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery
A field-friendly, green fossil fuel energy production solution
Research indicates CO2-EOR is a proven and increasingly cost-attractive technology for boosting oil production in maturing fields, and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations pose a much smaller risk than conventional oil exploration because EOR uses reservoirs that have been proven historical producers.
Most oil fields could potentially recover in excess of 25 percent of additional oil with a drastically improved greenhouse gas profile due to the captured CO2 being injected into the oil and gas fields - and not into the atmosphere. This oil can be considered “Green Oil." To produce these barrels, producers need new sources of CO2, or additional sources for augmentation strategically placed near oilfields suitable for EOR.
Primary recovery is the first stage of hydrocarbon production. Natural oil reservoir pressure moves the hydrocarbons from the reservoir, into the wellbore, and up to the surface. Generally, primary recovery only yields 30-35% of the total oil in place. This means that 65-70% of oil is left in the ground! EOR operations allow another 10-15% of the total oil in place to be produced. After primary recovery, the natural pressure that was in the reservoir needs to be replaced for the reservoir to continue to produce.
CO2-EOR is performed by injecting, or "flooding," one or more wells in a field with compressed CO2 removed distributed power production of distributed power systems, compressor stations, or gas processing plants. The CO2 becomes dissolved (miscible) in the crude oil and causes the oil to swell, reducing viscosity. This drives and enables the oil to move through the rock formation and towards oil recovery wells.
Using compressed CO2 for EOR has many benefits. First, it lets the oil & gas operators produce more oil. Second, the oil recovery helps to pay for the cost of capturing and building the transformation infrastructure necessary to sequester more CO2, making the process more economical. Most importantly, oil produced from CO2-EOR is net 70% carbon free as compared to conventional oil, making oil produced through EOR much more eco-friendly than conventionally-produced oil. If all of the oil used in the United States were produced from EOR sources, the net amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere would be 6 million metric tons less per day!
There are currently many CO2-EOR projects in the U.S. producing approximately 300,000 barrels of oil per day. It is estimated that the CO2-EOR potential of more than 6.3 billion barrels of oil, would require approximately 7.5 billion metric tons of CO2 between now and 2030. This reserve potential represents one-third of the total remaining primary reserves in the U.S.