Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
GREEN OIL™ CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery for America’s Small Oil Producers
Pioneer Astronautics, Inc.
John & Lynn Allen, Inc.
Carnegie Mellon University
American Pioneer Ventures
Currently, trillions of dollars worth of domestic oil remain underground in apparently tapped-out wells, while Americans pay endless amounts of money to buy oil from foreign nations. The Pioneer Consortium is developing technology that will allow much of this domestic oil to be recovered, while generating clean, distributed electric power and removing CO2 from the atmosphere
Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using CO2 injection into the ground is a well-known technique that allows a typical well to increase its overall yield by as much as 40%. However, as currently practiced, EOR requires pipelines to deliver CO2 from natural reservoirs to oilfields. This technique is only practical for oilfields within limited distance from such reservoirs, as the capital cost of building pipelines over long distances is prohibitive. Moreover, in general, such pipelines only serve major oilfield customers as the return from EOR from isolated small fields is insufficient to justify the capital cost of pipeline construction, and small producers typically do not have the cash to pay for such construction.
In order to make EOR at small producer fields feasible, the Pioneer Consortium is developing truck-portable equipment for generating CO2 on-site at small producer fields on a scale of operation of approximately 1 million cubic feet per day. This is sufficient to generate about 100 additional barrels of oil per day, a relevant rate for many small oil producers.
In this project, a full-scale PRESEOR unit will be built, tested, and all plans for a complete field test will be developed. The work will be led by Dr. Robert Zubrin at Pioneer Astronautics, a company with a 12 year track record of performing R&D for NASA and the U.S. military. A 50% cost share supporting the effort will be provided by Pioneer Energy. The small-producer firm John & Lynn Allen, Inc. will provide consulting to insure that the system developed meets the requirements of small producers. Studies of a number of small producer oil fields for PRESEOR enhancement will be conducted by Carnegie Mellon University in association with American Pioneer Ventures (APV). APV will also act to secure intellectual property developed in the course of the program so that private financing for follow-on commercial application can be secured. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon, a world leader in carbon sequestration research, will provide academic guidance, publication support, and research and planning for the field test.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Zubrin