Enhanced Oil Recovery Utilizing CO2 Flood Technology Overview
Oil displacement by carbon dioxide injection relies on the phase behaviour of the mixtures of that gas and the crude, which are strongly dependent on reservoir temperature, pressure and crude oil composition.
In high pressure applications with lighter oils, CO2 is miscible with the oil, with resultant swelling of the oil, and reduction in viscosity, and possibly also with a reduction in the surface tension with the reservoir rock. In the case of low pressure reservoirs or heavy oils, CO2 will form an immiscible fluid, or will only partially mix with the oil. Some oil swelling may occur, and oil viscosity can still be significantly reduced.
In these applications, between one-half and two-thirds of the injected CO2 returns with the produced oil and is usually re-injected into the reservoir to minimize operating costs. The remainder is trapped in the oil reservoir by various means.
Under the right temperature, pressure and oil composition conditions, CO2 acts as a solvent, cleaning oil trapped in the microscopic pores of the reservoir rock. This miscible (or immiscible) process greatly increases the recovery of oil from a reservoir compared to the recoveries normally seen by water flooding.
Benefits and Utilization:
The use of CO2 for commercial EOR began in the United States in the early 1970’s, there is currently about 120 registered CO2 floods worldwide, almost 85 percent of which are in the USA and Canada. In North America, it is estimated that over 45 billion barrels of proven oil reserves will be available for production through the application of CO2 enhanced oil recovery. Enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide offers an immediate to medium term opportunity to produce more oil from mature fields that have already been drilled and have much of the needed infrastructure already in place.
EHR has identified a number of potential sites in Western Canada that could benefit from CO2 EOR. Working with HTC CO2 Systems Corp., EHR is identifying sights where CO2 can be captured from local emission sources and then trucked or pipelined to the oilfield that can benefit from the CO2 EOR process.
EHR is providing the necessary technical services and project
management expertise to advance oil production opportunities.
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