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What is a CO2 Pipeline?

Tens of billions of dollars of new CO2 Pipelines will be built to move the new "commodity" and asset - carbon dioxide emissions - from the point of origination, such as fossil fueled power plants to CO2-EOR locations, via CO2 pipelines, for "CO2 injection" for Enhanced Oil Recovery applications.

 


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Enhanced Oil Recovery:

Enhanced Oil Recovery is the green way to produce America's oil when using carbon emissions (CO2) from fossil-fueled power plants to recover stranded or trapped oil. After recovering the oil, the CO2 is stored in the reservoir where the oil was located. 

Enhanced Oil Recovery promotes U.S. energy independence by reducing foreign oil imports from OPEC & other Middle East countries, as well as Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia and other unfriendly countries.

According to the Department of Energy, Enhanced Oil Recovery is a "game-changer" in that there are nearly 400 Billion Barrels of “Unrecoverable Oil”in the U.S. and that 60%, or 240 Billion barrels of oil, are recoverable through Enhanced Oil Recovery At $100/bbl, Enhanced Oil Recovery represents a $24 Trillion market opportunity for the U.S.

 

CO2 Flooding using CO2 (CO2-EOR) as the miscible gas for injection.
Diagram courtesy of DOE

 

 

What is CO2 Flooding?

CO2 flooding is an "enhanced oil recovery" (EOR) technology wherein CO2 is injected into a known oil containing reservoir for recovering a large percentage of the "original oil in place" that was not recovered via primary recovery methods.  During CO2 flooding the carbon dioxide and the remaining oil in the reservoir "mix" above a specific pressure known as the "minimum miscibility pressure" or MMP.  At pressures equal to or above the minimum miscibility pressure, the carbon dioxide acts similarly to a "solvent" flooding the reservoir and leaving only a very small amount of residue behind. At pressures below the minimum miscibility pressure, the carbon dioxide increases oil production by "swelling" the oil thereby reducing its viscosity. 


What is CO2 Injection?

CO2 Injection is an "enhanced oil recovery" (EOR) technology that represents the greenest way for recovering America's "stranded oil." 

The major oil companies, when producing oil in "primary recovery" typically produce and recover the "easy oil" representing as little as 10% of the oil reservoir's "original oil in place."  After recovering the easy oil, it is necessary to go into "secondary  recovery" which is also referred to as enhanced oil recovery.  These secondary recovery methods are expensive and sometimes only producing marginal amounts of oil.  Therefore, some oil companies simply choose to plug and abandon the well and move on to the next project after only recovering as little as 10% of the oil in the reservoir.

Recovering the remaining oil in reservoirs is the purpose behind deploying enhanced oil recovery technologies which enables the remaining oil to flow, or drain from the host rock in the underground reservoir, to a production well.  Enhanced oil recovery technologies produce the otherwise stranded oil from the otherwise depleted reservoir.  

There are a number of enhanced oil recovery technologies and methods that have been used such as steam injection however, technologies such as these are expensive, and requires combustion of additional fossil fuel, releasing even more greenhouse gas emissionsSteam injection is particularly beneficial when dealing with production of "heavy oil."

CO2 Injection, and "CO2 Flooding," have been heralded as the greenest way to recover stranded oil as carbon dioxide frees the stranded oil easily and affordably - and after the oil has been recovered, the co2 is "trapped" in the reservoir, in a solution called "carbon capture and sequestration."  In CO2 injection, carbon dioxide, under pressure, is injected between oil wells to freeing the stranded oil.  At one time, water was injected to free the stranded oil, but the water mixed with the oil and the recovered liquid quickly became mostly water, that had to be separated from the oil.  CO2 is a superior agent in recovering stranded oil as the CO2  naturally reduces the surface tension that traps the liquid oil to in the oil reservoir.  When the oil is recovered from the production well, CO2 is also produced, but is easily separated from the crude oil because the CO2 reverts back to its gaseous state when the pressure is removed.

There is only one correct and optimum EOR solution per well/reservoir or mature oil field that will deliver the  maximum oil production at the least cost. That's our job, we identify and deploy that EOR solution to insure the maximum oil production for the least cost for our clients. Note: EOR Technologies may utilize EOR products and services provided in part or in whole by affiliated companies or partner companies. Call/email us today for an initial consultation to discuss your declining oil production problems.


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