CO2 Sequestration and Ehanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
Enhanced oil recovery increases the production of a well and extends its life. By sequestering natural gas into producing oil fields companies can increase the output of the well by 30-60%, natural gas, CO2, and chemicals used in EOR decreases the viscosity of the oil and allow it to flow through the geologic formations where it is stored more easily. EOR and hydraulic fracturing or frac'ing has been responsible for the recent oil boom in the Bakken shale play creating more jobs and increased revenue for the state of Montana.
Bell Creek, PCOR
The Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, led by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota is a collaboration of over 80 U.S. and Canadian stakeholders that is laying the groundwork for proactical and environmentally sound CO2 sequestration projects in the heartland of North America. Denbury Onshore LLC, working with PCOR has begun using a process known as CO2 enhanced oil recovery to increase production in underground oil reserves. It does this by decreasing the viscosity of the oil allowing it to flow more freely through the rock. It is implementing this process in the Belle Creek oil field in southeastern Montana that will add 35 million barrels and 20 years of production to the oil field. A 232-mile-long pipeline will deliver 1 million tons of CO2 a year from the Lost Cabin natural gas-processing facility in central Wyoming to the Belle Creek oil field. The pipeline is schedueled to be completed in December of 2012 and CO2 injection will begin shortly after. Denbury has teamed with PCOR to study CO2 as it is being pumped down into the Belle Creek oil field in hope that they will learn more about the oil field's capability for geologic sequestration storage.
Kevin Dome, BSCSP
The Big Sky Sequestration Partnership (BSCSP), located in Bozeman at Montana State University (MSU) is one of seven regional partnerships working under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Region Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP). DOE has created a network of seven RCSPs to help develop the technology, infrastructure, and regulations to implement large scale CO2 sequestration in different regions and geologic formations with in the nation. BSCSP is currently working on a sequestration project located at Kevin Dome, a large underground geologic structure in Toole County in northern Montana. BSCSP hopes to show that the Kevin Dome is a safe and practicable site to store CO2. The project will produce 1 million tons of CO2 from a natural source within the dome that will be extracted and transported approximately 6 miles and re-injected back deep into the ground. Scientists will closely monitor the geology, geochemistry, water quality and CO2 behavior. The project will toatla $67 million in federal funds and $18 million from private funds and employ over 100 workers. BSCSP is currently in the "site characterization" phase of the project. This phase includes project permitting, a 3-D seismic survey, environmental monitoring and site analysis, and geologic modeling and analysis. The information collected during this phase will guide well placement and modeling efforts as well as provide valuable information about the source of CO2 and its properties.