Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery project begins

By | January 01, 2004
On Dec. 4, representatives from the University of Kansas "flipped a switch" and injected the first dose of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ground with the hopes that it will force valuable oil deposits to the surface.

The purpose of the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Demonstration Project, located at the Hall-Gurney Oil Field outside of Russell, Kan., is to determine the technical and economic feasibility of CO2 miscible flooding. The project aims to develop reservoir data to facilitate future commercial CO2 floods and to gain an understanding of the operations and costs involved in implementing a CO2 flood.

The project is the first to use CO2 produced in an ethanol plant. U.S. Energy Partners supplied 18 tons of the ethanol coproduct for the first injection.

When forced into a depleted oil reservoir, CO2 "strips" the unrecoverable oil from the rock formation and pushes it to nearby wells to be pumped to the surface. The CO2 flooding is expected to last about five years and, if successful, recover approximately 20,000 barrels of oil. According to Martin Dubois, a research geologist at the University of Kansas, it will take approximately two years before researchers can determine if the flooding works effectively.

The demonstration project isn't the first of its kind, Dubois told EPM. Similar methods are being used in Texas oil fields among other places. However, their CO2 comes from natural deposits underground or the industrial market.

For more information about the project, visit www.kgs.ku.edu/CO2/index.html.
~Staff Report