Technical aspects of CO2 enhanced oil recovery and associated carbon storage
4th November 2013
Injection of carbon dioxide into mature oil reservoirs is a proven effective method for improving oil production that can be applied to a variety of oil reservoirs in different geological settings. Retention of the injected carbon dioxide within the reservoir is an intrinsic part of the CO2 EOR process, and effectively all CO2 purchased for injection will ultimately remain stored within the oil field at the end of EOR operations. This storage aspect has driven interest in CO2 EOR as a potential method of CCS that has a supportive business component.
The storage opportunities within CO2 EOR floods are generally not maximised, although there are no over-riding technical impediments preventing using more of the pore space for storage. Transitional, or residual oil zones, and stacked reservoirs all pose significant opportunities to increase storage amounts well beyond that used strictly for EOR. While deploying monitoring equipment and determining suitable baselines may present challenges to some existing operations, technical solutions can be found to address most of these issues.
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