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Living Green - Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 sequestration.
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Friday, February 6, 2015
The energy production race continues. Every year the global demand for energy increases, while areas of energy production to exploit decrease.
Fracking is proving to be much less of a boom than expected, while environmental issues are proving to be worse.
Alternative energy is developing, but way too slowly to even make up a fraction of the energy provided by fossil fuels.
But the technology to further develop existing energy reserves is always advancing, and sometimes with ancillary environmental benefits.
Is it possible to sequester carbon dioxide and increase domestic oil production at the same time?
It is called Enhanced Oil Recovery.
Thanks for reading,
Your Living Green editor
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Using carbon dioxide in enhanced oil recovery, or CO2-EOR, works most commonly by injecting CO2 into already developed oil fields where it mixes with and "releases" the oil from the formation, thereby freeing it to move to production wells. CO2 that emerges with the oil is separated in above-ground facilities and re-injected into the formation. CO2-EOR projects resemble a closed-loop system where the CO2 is injected, produces oil, is stored in the formation, or is recycled back into the injection well.
Today, most of the CO2 used in EOR operations is from natural underground 'domes' of CO2. With the natural supply of CO2 limited, man-made CO2 from the captured CO2 emissions of power plants and industrial facilities (e.g., fertilizer production, ethanol production, cement and steel plants) can be used to boost oil production through EOR. Once CO2 is captured from these facilities, it is compressed and transported by pipeline to oil fields.
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