EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) is an enormous opportunity, with total global EOR recovery potential estimated to exceed 750 billion barrels of oil. The Middle East has the greatest EOR potential with over 475 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The U.S. DOE estimates that the U.S. has reserves of 100-160 billion barrels of stranded oil that could be recovered if a reliable supply of CO2 was available (equivalent to 35 years worth of crude oil imports at current levels). Similar stranded oil extraction opportunities exist in Asia. Since the oil targeted for EOR is located in wells that have already been drilled, exploration risk is virtually eliminated. Effectively, depleted oil reserves can dramatically increase in value with GreatPoint's abundant, low-cost CO2 supply, which unlocks a large reserve of EOR producible barrels.
CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery is a proven means of permanent carbon sequestration that also makes beneficial use of CO2 to sufficiently increase oil production in aging fields. While highly dilute streams of CO2 generated from power plants, vehicles, and industrial facilities pose a significant environmental problem due to the high cost, inefficiency and complexity of capture, CO2 is actually a highly valuable gas when available in pure form in proximity to mature oil wells. GreatPoint Energy believes that its ability to locate bluegas™ plants in fossil fuel producing regions, pipeline its natural gas to market, and utilize its pure CO2 product to significantly increase oil production from mature wells, gives it a distinct advantage in the market.
Crude oil production through conventional methods is only able to capture about 20-40 percent of the original oil in reservoirs. However, using EOR enables the recovery of 30-60 percent, or more, of the reservoirs oil. With CO2 EOR, the injected CO2 expands to re-pressurize the reservoir as well as dissolve in the oil to lower its viscosity and improve flow rate. The U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory estimates that for every metric ton of CO2, 1-2 barrels can be produced at a cost of $8.20 / barrel when an ample supply of compressed CO2 is freely available onsite – such as from a bluegas™ plant.
The use of CO2 for commercial EOR is an established oil recovery method that began in the United States over 30 years ago. There are now over 120 registered CO2 floods worldwide. However, limited supplies of naturally occurring CO2 and high costs of CO2 production, compression and transport have, to date, limited the wide utilization of EOR. Power plants generate large streams of CO2 from combustion of fossil fuels, but the cost of post-combustion capture remains very high and the technology is not yet commercialized. The bluegas™ process inherently captures a high purity, pressurized, pipeline-ready CO2 product stream at zero additional cost. Moreover, unlike current fields that must be located close to naturally occurring sources of CO2, GreatPoint Energy can place bluegas™ plants adjacent to any oil field.