The Intersection of Environment and EOR: How Carbon Capture is Changing Tertiary Recovery
In recent years an increasing number of projects have been developed in areas without natural supplies, and have instead utilized captured CO2 from a variety of anthropogenic sources including gas processing plants, ethanol plants, cement plants, and fertilizer plants. Today approximately 36% of active CO2 EOR projects utilize gas that would otherwise be vented to the atmosphere. Interest world-wide has increased, including projects in Canada, Brazil, Norway, Turkey, Trinidad, and more recently, and perhaps most significantly, in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. About 80% of all energy used in the world comes from fossil fuels, and many industrial and manufacturing processes generate CO2 that can be captured and used for EOR. In this paper, a brief history of CO2 EOR is provided, implications for utilizing captured carbon are discussed, and a demonstration project is introduced with an overview of characterization, modeling, simulation, and monitoring activities taking place during injection of more than a million metric tons (~19 Bcf) of anthropogenic CO2 into a mature waterflood.