Advancement in drilling and production technologies, such as horizontal drilling with multi-stage fracturing, has enabled commercial production from more challenging reservoirs, namely, tight oil formations. However, high capital costs and relatively low recovery narrow the profit from such reservoirs. CO2 EOR has provided not only an excellent opportunity to unlock more oil production, but also a chance to sequestrate more CO2 to reduce environmental footprint. However, profitability of CO2 EOR processes could rely heavily on market conditions.
While CO2 EOR reserves and CO2 storage can be quantified through compositional simulation, thorough economic analyses need to be conducted to evaluate the viability of a CO2 EOR project. The complexity of this study can be reduced significantly through experimental design. Randomized economic uncertainties, such as commodity prices, royalty scheme and incentives, CO2 sequestration credits, capital and operating cost structure, CO2 price, etc. can also be investigated with Monte Carlo simulation. This coupled approach allows us stochastically to sensitize the probability of each parameter and quantify their financial impacts on CO2 EOR projects. This methodology is extremely valuable in the assessment of risks in business, especially when uncertainties are high or the problem is rather complex, such as CO2 EOR/sequestration in tight oil reservoirs.
The remaining oil in tight oil formation, after primary and water flood, is still significant. Hence, CO2 EOR has attracted attentions from industrial partners and government regulatory bodies. This paper provides a rigorous workflow for the industry on how to appraise such projects, as well as a perspective for the governing bodies of how to transform their policies and incentives when market conditions change.