Companies investigate diverting carbon dioxide into oil wells (August 20, 2004)
The Alberta government is funding four companies to to participate in a pilot project to inject carbon dioxide into...
The Alberta government is funding four companies to to participate in a pilot project to inject carbon dioxide into oil and gas reservoirs. The program is intended to divert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby helping the province reduce its greenhouse emission. The program was launched in 2003 and was earmarked $15 million in royalty credits over five years.
The four companies investigating the technology in pilot studies are Devon Canada, Anadarko Canada, Apache Canada and Penn West Petroleum.
The project calls on the four companies to inject carbon dioxide into reservoirs that are at the mature stage of their productive life. Injecting carbon dioxide improves production at the wells. Devon Canada’s proposal is to use the technology at its Swan Hills oil field, a central Alberta site that’s been producing oil since the 1950s. The company has been injecting ethane into the site for 20 years to make the oil easier to extract. Carbon dioxide will bring similar benefits but 35 per cent of the gas will stay in the ground.
One challenge is the large capital cost associated with piping in carbon dioxide from Fort McMurray or Fort Saskatchewan. Another problem is that when carbon dioxide is mixed with water, it has a corrosive effect on metal.
Source: Heads Up, CIPEC newsletter, Natural Resources Canada