EOR Research

img_3134Combustion of fossil fuels for electric power generation and in the transportation, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors in the Southeastern U.S. makes this region a major contributor to nationwide anthropogenic CO2 emissions (Pashin et al., 2005). Separation of carbon dioxide from combustion products followed by storage in geologic formations is among the most promising approaches to reducing the rate at which CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere as a result of both human activity and natural processes (Stevens et al., 2001; Friedmann and Homer-Dixon, 2004).

The State of Alabama is endowed with a wealth of potential geologic carbon dioxide sinks, including conventional oil and gas reservoirs, coal bed methane reservoirs, and saline formations (Pashin et al., 2005; Esposito, 2006). Sequestration of carbon dioxide in coal beds, coupled with enhanced methane recovery, is the subject of an investigation by the Southeastern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (Pashin et al., 2004, 2005, 2006).

img_3146The Citronelle Oil Field is the largest oil producer in the State of Alabama. According to criteria proposed by Kovscek (2002), the field is an ideal site for CO2-EOR and sequestration:
(1) from the reservoir engineering prospective, the site is mature and water-flooded, with existing infrastructure, including deep wells, and (2) from the geological prospective, the field consists of fluvial-deltaic sandstone reservoirs in a simple structural dome and, because of the presence of the regionally extensive Ferry Lake Anhydrite seal, four-way structural closure, and lack of faulting, is naturally stable with respect to CO2 storage.

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC26-06NT43029 with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, entitled: “Carbon-dioxide-enhanced oil recovery from the Citronelle Field, Mobile County, Alabama.” The Contracting Officer’s Representative for the National Energy Technology Laboratory is Chandra Nautiyal at the Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil. Support for the work is also provided by Denbury Resources, Inc., Southern Company, Inc., the Geological Survey of Alabama, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Participation in the research program by Jack C. Pashin of the Geological Survey of Alabama is supported, in part, by the U. S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, under Agreement No. 1435-01-04-CA-37582.