Oxy, White Energy commence CO2 EOR study in Permian

By Luke Geiver | June 19, 2018

Already a leading shale oil producer in the Permian Basin, Occidental Petroleum Corp. has announced plans to study new ways to get more oil out of the ground. Working with White Energy, an ethanol producer with plants in Hereford and Plainview, Texas, Oxy intends to review the feasibility of using carbon dioxide captured at the ethanol production facilities for use as an enhanced oil recovery medium in its Permian acreage.

In North Dakota, the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center has been studying and perfecting the process of CO2-based EOR within the Williston Basin. EOG Resources has also tested the process using associated gas produced from wells for reinjections into the Eagle Ford. With White Energy, Oxy will perform a six-month engineering study that will look into the cost of building infrastructure to make the process possible.

According to Oxy, EOR technology can increase oil recovery by 10 to 25 percent while sequestering CO2 under the ground.

Vicki Hollub, president and CEO of the E&P, credited the work with White Energy to the FUTURE Act. In February, the U.S. government passed a bill supporting the conversion of CO2 produced from industrial sources into a commodity that can then be stored in a secure geological formation.

“Carbon capture technologies have the potential to play a critical role in reducing global emissions, and this project is an important first step in cross-industry collaboration to make these efforts economic, practicable and scalable,” Hollub said.

Greg Thompson, president and CEO of White Energy, said his production facilities will also benefit from the project financially and by helping to sequester CO2 produced from the plant. Should the feasibility study show positive results, the study participants believe a field operation could be in place by 2021. If completed, the EOR project would be eligible for 45Q tax credits.