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Title: Carbon balance of CO2-EOR for NCNO classification

Abstract

The question of whether carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) constitutes a valid alternative for greenhouse gas emission reduction has been frequently asked by the general public and environmental sectors. Through this technology, operational since 1972, oil production is enhanced by injecting CO2 into depleted oil reservoirs in order displace the residual oil toward production wells in a solvent/miscible process. For decades, the CO2 utilized for EOR has been most commonly sourced from natural CO2 accumulations. More recently, a few projects have emerged where anthropogenic CO2 (A-CO2) is captured at an industrial facility, transported to a depleted oil field, and utilized for EOR. If carbon geologic storage is one of the project objectives, all the CO2 injected into the oil field for EOR could technically be stored in the formation. Even though the CO2 is being prevented from entering the atmosphere, and permanently stored away in a secured geologic formation, a question arises as to whether the total CO2 volumes stored in order to produce the incremental oil through EOR are larger than the CO2 emitted throughout the entire CO2-EOR process, including the capture facility, the EOR site, and the refining and burning of the end product. We intend tomore » answer some of these questions through a DOE-NETL funded study titled “Carbon Life Cycle Analysis of CO2-EOR for Net Carbon Negative Oil (NCNO) Classification”. NCNO is defined as oil whose carbon emissions to the atmosphere, when burned or otherwise used, are less than the amount of carbon permanently stored in the reservoir in order to produce the oil. In this paper, we focus on the EOR site in what is referred to as a gate-to-gate system, but are inclusive of the burning of the refined product, as this end member is explicitly stated in the definition of NCNO. Finally, we use Cranfield, Mississippi, as a case study and come to the conclusion that the incremental oil produced is net carbon negative.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ; ;
  1. The University of Texas at Austin
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
The University of Texas at Austin
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1407713
Report Number(s):
DOE-UTBEG-4433-1
DOE Contract Number:
FE0024433
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy Procedia; Conference: 13th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT-13, 14-18 November 2016, Lausanne, Switzerland
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CO2 EOR, NCNO, Carbon Balance, CCS

Citation Formats

Nunez-Lopez, Vanessa, Gil-Egui, Ramon, Gonzalez-Nicolas, Ana, and Hovorka, Susan D. Carbon balance of CO2-EOR for NCNO classification. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Nunez-Lopez, Vanessa, Gil-Egui, Ramon, Gonzalez-Nicolas, Ana, & Hovorka, Susan D. Carbon balance of CO2-EOR for NCNO classification. United States.
Nunez-Lopez, Vanessa, Gil-Egui, Ramon, Gonzalez-Nicolas, Ana, and Hovorka, Susan D. Sat . "Carbon balance of CO2-EOR for NCNO classification". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1407713.
@article{osti_1407713,
title = {Carbon balance of CO2-EOR for NCNO classification},
author = {Nunez-Lopez, Vanessa and Gil-Egui, Ramon and Gonzalez-Nicolas, Ana and Hovorka, Susan D},
abstractNote = {The question of whether carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) constitutes a valid alternative for greenhouse gas emission reduction has been frequently asked by the general public and environmental sectors. Through this technology, operational since 1972, oil production is enhanced by injecting CO2 into depleted oil reservoirs in order displace the residual oil toward production wells in a solvent/miscible process. For decades, the CO2 utilized for EOR has been most commonly sourced from natural CO2 accumulations. More recently, a few projects have emerged where anthropogenic CO2 (A-CO2) is captured at an industrial facility, transported to a depleted oil field, and utilized for EOR. If carbon geologic storage is one of the project objectives, all the CO2 injected into the oil field for EOR could technically be stored in the formation. Even though the CO2 is being prevented from entering the atmosphere, and permanently stored away in a secured geologic formation, a question arises as to whether the total CO2 volumes stored in order to produce the incremental oil through EOR are larger than the CO2 emitted throughout the entire CO2-EOR process, including the capture facility, the EOR site, and the refining and burning of the end product. We intend to answer some of these questions through a DOE-NETL funded study titled “Carbon Life Cycle Analysis of CO2-EOR for Net Carbon Negative Oil (NCNO) Classification”. NCNO is defined as oil whose carbon emissions to the atmosphere, when burned or otherwise used, are less than the amount of carbon permanently stored in the reservoir in order to produce the oil. In this paper, we focus on the EOR site in what is referred to as a gate-to-gate system, but are inclusive of the burning of the refined product, as this end member is explicitly stated in the definition of NCNO. Finally, we use Cranfield, Mississippi, as a case study and come to the conclusion that the incremental oil produced is net carbon negative.},
doi = {},
journal = {Energy Procedia},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Mar 18 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Mar 18 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Conference:
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  • CO{sub 2} capture and storage (CCS) presents a challenge to long-range planners, economic interests, regulators, law-makers, and other stakeholders and decision makers. To improve and optimize the use of limited resources and finances, it is important to define an end state for CCS. This ends state should be defined around desired goals and reasonable timelines for execution. While this definition may have substantial technology, policy or economic implications, it need not be prescriptive in terms of technology pathway, policy mechanism, or economic targets. To illustrate these concerns, this paper will present a credible vision of what an end state formore » North American might look like. From that, examples of key investment and planning decisions are provided to illustrate the value of end-state characterization.« less
  • This paper explores the impact of the temporally dynamic demand for CO2 for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery with CO2 storage. Previous evaluations of economy-wide CO2 capture and geologic storage (CCS) deployment have typically applied a simplifying assumption that 100% of the potential storage capacity for a given formation is available on the first day of the analysis, and that the injection rate impacts only the number of wells required to inject a given volume of fluid per year, making it a cost driver rather than a technical one. However, as discussed by Dahowski and Bachu [1], storing CO2 in a fieldmore » undergoing CO2 flooding for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is subject to a set of constraints to which storage in DSFs is not, and these constraints combined with variable demand for CO2 may strongly influence the ability of an EOR field to serve as a baseload storage formation for commercial scale CCS projects undertaken as a means of addressing climate change mitigation targets. This analysis assumes that CCS is being undertaken in order to reduce CO2 emissions from the industrial sources evaluated and that there is enough of a disincentive associated with venting CO2 to the atmosphere that any CO2 not used within the EOR field will be stored in a suitable nearby deep saline formation (DSF). The authors have applied a CO2 demand profile to two cases chosen to illustrate the differences in cost impacts of employing EOR-based CCS as a part of a given source’s CCS portfolio. The first scenario is a less-than-ideal case in which a single EOR field is used for storage and all CO2 not demanded by the EOR project is stored in a DSF; the second scenario is designed to optimize costs by minimizing storage in the DSF and maximizing lower-cost EOR-based storage. Both scenarios are evaluated for two facilities emitting 3 and 6 MtCO2/y, corresponding to a natural gas processing facility and an IGCC electric power plant, respectively. Annual and lifetime average CO2 transport and storage costs are presented, and the impact of added capture and compression costs on overall project economics is examined.« less
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is currently involved in a long term study using time-lapse multiple frequency electromagnetic (EM) imaging at a carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) site in the San Joaquin Valley, California. The impetus for this proposed research project is to develop the ability to image subsurface CO{sub 2} during EOR processes while simultaneously discriminating between background heavy petroleum and water deposits. Using field equipment developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in prior imaging studies of EOR water and steam injection, this research uses multiple field deployments to acquire subsurface image snapshots of the CO{sub 2}more » injection and displacement. Laboratory research, including electrical and transport properties of fluid and CO{sub 2} in saturated materials, uses core samples from drilling, as well as samples of injection and formation fluid provided by industrial partners on-site. Our two-fold approach to combine laboratory and field methods in imaging a pilot CO{sub 2} sequestration EOR site using the cross-borehole EM technique is to (1) improve the inversion process in CO{sub 2} studies by coupling field results with petrophysical laboratory measurements and (2) focus on new gas interpretation techniques of the field data using multiple frequencies and low noise data processing techniques. This approach is beneficial, as field and laboratory data can provide information on subsurface CO{sub 2} detection, CO{sub 2} migration tracking, and the resulting displacement of petroleum and water over time. While the electrical properties of the brine from the prior waterflooding are sharply contrasted from the other components, the electrical signatures of the formation fluid (oil) and CO{sub 2} are quite similar. We attempt to quantify that difference under multiple conditions and as a function of injection time. We find that the electrical conductivity signature difference increases over time and we should thus expect to discriminate CO{sub 2} as a function of time based on the time scales calculated from linear extrapolation of laboratory data.« less