January 12, 2016
MRSCP Research Partner and site host Core Energy continues to expand its operations and has recently begun a CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery project in a new depleted oil field. Core Energy. This newest oil field is expected to produce another 1 million barrels of oil over a 10-year period, thus increasing oil production by over 33% in this mature field. Carbon dioxide used for the project comes from a gas processing plant in Antrim County, where it is removed from natural gas. From there the carbon dioxide is compressed and then injected about one mile into the ground at the Otsego County field.
Depending on oil prices, 1 million barrels could lead to $40 million to $80 million in additional revenue. Bob Mannes (CEO & Founder, Core Energy) said, "Otsego County has had tens of millions of gallons of oil produced throughout the decades, and there is three times as much oil left in the ground than came out, but you can't get it out." This project using CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery hopes to collect the remaining oil.
What does this news mean for climate change mitigation? The carbon dioxide stays in the ground after the oil is produced so this project will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. "We are taking carbon dioxide that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere and we are injecting the carbon dioxide a mile underground into an oil field," said Mannes. Harold Fitch, chief of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals, said "It's a win-win situation this way. It's a good way to recover extra oil and take carbon dioxide out of the air to address global climate issues." Successful projects, such as those achieved by Core Energy, helps to open doors for the use of CO₂ enhanced oil recovery as a climate change mitigation strategy.