Carbon dioxide has a long history of successful usage in hydraulic fracturing fluids, dating as far back as 1962. The Canadian Deep Basin area is known to contain many water desiccated natural gas reservoirs which are very amenable to carbon dioxide based stimulation. Another major advantage of carbon dioxide use is to displace fresh water, reducing environmental impacts.

However, in recent years, some operators have moved away from carbon dioxide, due to difficulties related to the contaminated gas stream during fracture flow back operations. An extended period of flaring may be required to reduce the carbon dioxide content to acceptable levels in the sales pipeline. This may contribute to longer periods of flaring, noise and light pollution, increased green house gas emissions, as well as lost revenue to the operator, as otherwise saleable natural gas and gas liquids are being flared.

This paper will outline the development of portable trailer mounted membrane separation equipment for well site separation of carbon dioxide from natural gas. The equipment used and how the process works will be discussed.

Included is documented information from what is believed to be the first successful deployment of this equipment in Canada, on a well site near Grande Prairie, AB. Process information on flow rates, pressures, carbon dioxide inlet and sales content, etc. will be included.

The development of this equipment has many benefits, including reduced flaring, increased sales volumes for the operator, increased royalties for governments, etc. Operators may now take advantage of the reservoir enhancing benefits of carbon dioxide, without any of the negative flow back issues.

In conclusion, we will discuss future research and developments that will reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide venting at the well site.

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