International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project

Project type Measurement, monitoring and verification of CO2 geological storage
Project proponents An international consortium comprised of 6 governments and agencies and 10 energy companies
CO2 storage type Enhanced oil recovery
Project timeframe 2000 to 2012
Project location Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
Funding
Government of Canada $15.2 million
Provincial governments $4.9 million
United States government $13.9 million
Industry $6.9 million
Total project cost $40.9 million

Project description:

Launched in 2000 and completed in September 2012, this international research project studied carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and geological storage in depleted oilfields. It was conducted in conjunction with two commercial CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations near Weyburn, Saskatchewan (see below).

The project’s final phase (2007 to 2012) built on the successes of the first phase (2000 to 2004) to deliver the framework necessary to encourage implementation of CO2 geological storage worldwide. Specifically, the project aimed to develop and demonstrate technology solutions required for the design, implementation, monitoring and verification of CO2 geological storage projects. In addition, the project set out to influence and accelerate good public policy development in the areas of regulations and public communications and outreach. The technical work in the project was led by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina, Saskatchewan, while the policy work was led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

Outcomes:

The main deliverable of the project is a comprehensive Best Practices Manual. This is a practical “how to” guide for the design, implementation, monitoring and verification of CO2 geological storage, especially in the context of enhanced oil recovery. To realize the project’s aims to influence the development of effective public consultation and outreach processes, a national carbon capture and storage (CCS) Web site (www.CCS101.ca) was created.

Proponent and partners’  profiles:

The international consortium sponsoring this project included six governments or government-sponsored agencies and 10 international energy companies. The six governments were NRCan, the United States Department of Energy, the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Research and Development Programme, Saskatchewan Energy and Resources, Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions, and the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Japan. The 10 companies were Apache Canada Ltd., Aramco Services Company, Cenovus Energy Inc., Chevron Energy Technology Co., Dakota Gasification Company, Nexen Inc., OMV Austria Exploration & Production Gmbh, Saskatchewan Power Corporation, Schlumberger Canada Ltd. and Shell International

Exploration and Production B.V.:

The technical manager of the project, PTRC, is a non-profit research and development organization with offices and laboratories in Regina, Saskatchewan. PTRC also manages other projects, including the Aquistore Project, an integrated CCS project with storage in a deep saline formation, and the Sustainable Technologies for Energy Production Systems program.

The non-technical components of the project (legal and regulatory, public communications and outreach, and business environment) were managed by the Office of Energy Research and Development at NRCan.

Weyburn-Midale  commercial CO2-EOR operations

There are two commercial CO2-EOR operations in the Weyburn, Saskatchewan, area: Cenovus Energy’s Weyburn operations and Apache Canada’s Midale operations.1   Both projects purchase CO  from the Dakota Gasification Company, supplied through a 325-kilometre pipeline from Beulah, North Dakota. Upon completion of the projects, the CO2 is expected to remain permanently stored underground, stopping more than 40 megatonnes (Mt) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of removing nearly 9 million cars from the road for a year.

Cenovus Energy

Located in southeast Saskatchewan, the Weyburn oilfield contains approximately 1.4 billion barrels of oil, one of the largest medium sour crude oil reservoirs in Canada. It is currently producing approximately 28 000 barrels per day, of which 18 000 are due to the CO2 injection. Since the start of the CO2 injection in 2000, more than 18 million t of CO2 have been injected at Weyburn. The project is recognized as the world’s largest geological CO2 storage project. Overall, it is anticipated that 30 Mt of CO2 (gross) will be permanently stored over the lifespan of the project.

Apache Canada

Located just east of the Weyburn field, the Midale oilfield contains approximately 515 million barrels of oil. It also has benefitted from continuous technology advances. It is currently producing approximately 5600 barrels per day, of which 2540 are due to the CO2 injection. Since the start of CO2 injection in 2005, more than 3 Mt of CO2 have been injected at Midale. It is anticipated that 10 Mt of CO2 (gross) will be permanently stored over the lifespan of the project. The Midale CO2-EOR project is the second largest of its kind in Canada and represents a $475-million investment for Apache Canada.

Project Web site:

www.ptrc.ca/projects/weyburn-midale

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