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What is CO2 Injection?
CO2 Injection is an "enhanced oil recovery" (EOR) technology that represents the greenest way for recovering America's oil that was, at one time thought to be unrecoverable.
The major oil companies, when producing oil in "primary recovery" typically produce and recover the "easy oil" representing as little as 10% of the oil reservoir's "original oil in place." After recovering the easy oil, it is necessary to go into "secondary recovery" which is also referred to as enhanced oil recovery. These secondary recovery methods are expensive and sometimes only producing marginal amounts of oil. Therefore, some oil companies simply choose to plug and abandon the well and move on to the next project after only recovering as little as 10% of the oil in the reservoir.
Recovering the remaining oil in reservoirs is the purpose behind deploying enhanced oil recovery technologies which enables the remaining oil to flow, or drain from the host rock in the underground reservoir, to a production well. Enhanced oil recovery technologies produce the otherwise stranded oil from the otherwise depleted reservoir.
There are a number of enhanced oil recovery technologies and methods that have been used such as steam injection however, technologies such as these are expensive, and requires combustion of additional fossil fuel, releasing even more greenhouse gas emissions. Steam injection is particularly beneficial when dealing with production of "heavy oil."
CO2 Injection, and "CO2 Flooding," have been heralded as the greenest way to recover stranded oil as carbon dioxide frees the stranded oil easily and affordably - and after the oil has been recovered, the co2 is "trapped" in the reservoir, in a solution called "carbon capture and sequestration." In CO2 injection, carbon dioxide, under pressure, is injected between oil wells to freeing the stranded oil. At one time, water was injected to free the stranded oil, but the water mixed with the oil and the recovered liquid quickly became mostly water, that had to be separated from the oil. CO2 is a superior agent in recovering stranded oil as the CO2 naturally reduces the surface tension that traps the liquid oil to in the oil reservoir. When the oil is recovered from the production well, CO2 is also produced, but is easily separated from the crude oil because the CO2 reverts back to its gaseous state when the pressure is removed.
"The Future of Oil Production"
Enhanced Oil Recovery is the green way to produce America's oil when using carbon emissions (CO2) from fossil-fueled power plants to recover stranded or trapped oil. After recovering the oil, the CO2 is stored in the reservoir where the oil was located.
Enhanced Oil Recovery promotes U.S. energy independence by reducing
foreign oil imports from OPEC & other Middle East countries, as well as Venezuela, Iran, China,
Russia and other unfriendly countries.
According to the Department of Energy, Enhanced Oil Recovery is a "game-changer" in that there are nearly 400 Billion Barrels of “Unrecoverable Oil”in the U.S. and that 60%, or 240 Billion barrels of oil, are recoverable through Enhanced Oil Recovery. At $100/bbl, Enhanced Oil Recovery represents a $24 Trillion market opportunity for the U.S.
Flooding using CO2 (CO2-EOR) as the miscible gas for injection.
Diagram courtesy of DOE
American Energy Plan
NO FOREIGN OIL!
“spending hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars every year for oil, much of it from the Middle East, is just about the single stupidest thing that modern society could possibly do. It’s very difficult to think of anything more idiotic than that.”
~ R. James Woolsey, Jr., former Director of the CIA
According to R. James Woolsey, for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, “The basic insight is to realize that global warming, the geopolitics of oil, and warfare in the Persian Gulf are not separate problems — they are aspects of a single problem, the West’s dependence on oil.”
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