Industry Experience With CO2-Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Technology
- Dennis Denney (JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 39 - 41
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 186 since 2007
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This article, written by Senior Technology Editor Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 126446, "Industry Experience With CO2-Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Technology," by R.E. Sweatman, SPE, Halliburton; M.E. Parker, SPE, ExxonMobil; and S.L. Crookshank, American Petroleum Institute, prepared for the 2009 SPE International Conference on CO2 Capture, Storage, and Utilization, San Diego, California, 2-4 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
This summary shows how the oil/gas industry has achieved success in engineering the process to capture, transport, and inject CO2 in enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) projects. Some 37 years of safe and environmentally friendly large-scale operations, lessons learned, technical advancements, and millions of tons of CO2 injected demonstrate this success. With carbon capture and storage (CCS) being widely considered and with a few countries implementing commercial-scale CCS projects, technology transfer shares the experience of the oil/gas industry and the major contribution it can make as part of the solution for climate change.
Since the first CO2-EOR patent was granted in 1952, the oil/gas industry has spent many tens of billions of dollars developing and implementing CO2-EOR technologies, asset development, and operational experience. As new sources of CO2 have become available, field-testing and demonstration or pilot-project activities have been conducted. These development and improvement efforts have been continuous since the first project in 1964. The first large-scale, commercial CO2-EOR project began operations in 1972 at the SACROC field in west Texas, which is still in operation. Many more projects have started since that time, and by 2008, the count reached 112 projects. Innovative, cost-effective materials, equipment, and methods continue to be developed and implemented, such as the introduction of real-time smart-well operations at SACROC.
CO2-EOR Technology for CCS Deployment. Underground geological storage of CO2 is a promising technology for reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions because much of the technology developed by the oil/gas industry that is associated with natural-gas processing and CO2 EOR can support the sound implementation of CCS. Large storage capacity exists in deep saline formations, depleted oil/gas reservoirs, and unmineable-coal seams. According to a report in 2005 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as much as 55% of a worldwide GHG-mitigation effort through 2100 could be achieved safely by use of CCS.
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