Friday, September 7, 2012

CO2-EOR Pushes Pipelines Across US Rocky Mountain West

The continuing spread of enhanced oil recovery using CO2 (CO2-EOR) in the US is resulting in expansions to existing CO2 pipeline networks, particularly in the northern Rocky Mountains.  Two recent cases illustrate this development.  The first involves the August restart of construction on the 232-mile Greencore pipeline running from the ConocoPhillips Lost Cabin gas plant in Wyoming to the Bell Creek oilfield in Montana (an auxiliary line will also transport CO2 to the Cedar Creek Anticline field).  Denbury Resources plans to spend an estimated $275-$325 million to complete the pipeline, which will have a capacity of 700 million cubic feet per day.  Construction on the Greencore pipeline is permitted only between August and November each year due to federal wildlife protection rules.

Also in Wyoming, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted final approval in July to Elk Petroleum for a new EOR project at the Grieve oilfield near Casper.  Elk co-owns the field with Denbury Resources, and Denbury will capitalize on its pipeline experience by building a three-mile extension line from the pre-existing Anadarko CO2 pipeline.  The Grieve project is expected to be operational by November.

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