Saudi Aramco pilots carbon capture and EOR project

EOR Saudi AramcoSaudi Aramco has launched a pilot project in an attempt to enhance oil recovery beyond the more common method of water flooding, while, at the same time, reducing CO2 emissions

The carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project, led by the company’s EXPEC-Advanced Research Center, is said to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

Amin H. Nasser, acting president and CEO, said, “This breakthrough initiative demonstrates that we, as an industry leader, are part of the solution to proactively address global environmental challenges.

“Saudi Aramco is carrying out extensive research to enable us to lower our carbon footprint while continuing to supply the energy the world needs.”

Carbon capture and sequestration is the process of capturing waste CO2, storing it and depositing it underground so it will not enter the atmosphere. The project involves 11.3mn standard cu/m per day of CO2 being captured at Hawiyah gas recovery plant and piped 85 km to the ‘Uthmaniyah field, where it will be injected and sequestered, or stored, into flooded oil reservoirs under high pressure to enhance oil recovery.

The company will collect data to evaluate performance and build public confidence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s — and the GCC’s — first CO2 sequestration project. Two observation wells will measure how much of the 800,000 tonnes of injected CO2 remains sequestered in the reservoir. It is estimated that as much as 40 per cent of it will be permanently sequestered.

A new standalone high pressure production trap, new compressor and associated facilities for handling highly concentrated CO2 production streams have been built near the ‘Uthmaniyah field, where the CO2 will be injected. The produced fluids in this gas-oil separation plant, where Saudi Aramco engineers will attempt to keep as much of the CO2 as possible sequestered underground, will be closely monitored. New facilities to handle recovered fluids for further processing have been retrofitted.

The pilot project will be studied by field engineers and researchers over the next few years and lessons learned applied to other facilities and fields around Saudi Arabia, says Saudi Aramco.

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