Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 28th 2015 Contents less the potential is significant," Ram-
narine told the conference.
The energy minister also identified
major heavy oil opportunities in the
Morne L Enfer, Forrest and Cruse reser-
voirs and argued that the time is right
for a heavy oil thrust.
Persad said even at current prices it
would be economic to develop the bil-
lions of barrels of heavy oil in T&T that
can be recovered.
"What is needed is a pipeline run
from the Point Lisas Industrial Estate
to those fields on land, like Santa Flora,
Barrackpore, Forest Reserve and in the
Gulf of Paria. The NGC has already
been mandated to do that and so I
expect it to be done and it s not difficult
really," Persad said.
Persad admitted that some of the
heavy oil could be lifted using steam
but said that would only work on land
and that CO2 would be required exclu-
With this in mind, Persad said he
was confident that in the next five years
the project could be in operation and
therefore more revenues into govern-
ment s coffers.
CO2-EOR works most commonly by
injecting CO2 into already developed
oil fields where it mixes with and
"releases" the oil from the formation,
thereby freeing it to move to production
wells. CO2 that emerges with the oil
is separated in above-ground facilities
and re-injected into the formation.
CO2-EOR projects resemble a closed-
loop system where the CO2 is injected,
produces oil, is stored in the formation,
or is recycled back into the injection
Today, most of the CO2 used in EOR
operations is from natural underground
domes of CO2. With the natural supply
of CO2 limited, man-made CO2 from
the captured CO2 emissions of power
plants and industrial facilities (eg, fer-
tiliser production, ethanol production,
cement and steel plants) can be used
to boost oil production through EOR.
Once CO2 is captured from these facil-
ities, it is compressed and transported
by pipeline to oil fields.
At the end of primary production a
considerable amount of the oil remains
in place, with sometimes as much as
80-90 per cent still "trapped" in the
pore spaces of the reservoir.
If an oil field is not abandoned after
primary production, it moves into a
secondary production phase and water
is usually injected to repressurise the
formation. New injection wells are
drilled or converted from producing
wells, and the injected fluid sweeps oil
to the remaining producing wells. Sec-
ondary production could yield up to
an equal or greater amount of oil from
primary production. But this has the
potential to ultimately leave 50-70 per
cent of the original oil remaining in the
reservoir since much of the oil is
bypassed by the water that does not
mix with the oil.
Primary and secondary production
are sometimes referred to as "conven-
tional" oil production practices.
During tertiary production, oil field
operators use an injectant (usually CO2)
to react with the oil to change its prop-
erties and allow it to flow more freely
within the reservoir. Almost pure CO2
(>95 per cent of the overall composition)
has the property of mixing with oil to
swell it, make it lighter, detach it from
the rock surfaces, and cause the oil to
flow more freely within the reservoir
to producer wells.
In a closed loop system, CO2 mixed
with recovered oil is separated in above-
ground equipment for reinjection. CO2-
EOR typically produces between four
to 15 per cent of the original oil in place.
Billions of barrels
of oil can
oil fields on-
and in the Gulf
of Paria, but it can only be done
using carbon dioxide (CO2). This
is according to energy consultant,
Dr Krishna Persad, who told the
Business Guardian that the deci-
sion by the Cabinet to commission
a study into the use of CO2 to
recover on-land reserves including
heavy oil was long in coming.
"There are billions of barrels of
oil that is potentially recoverable
using CO2. I have said this for
years and I continue to insist that
we can seriously increase our crude
production by using CO2 and you
can quote me on that." At a recent
conference hosted by the Geolog-
ical Society of T&T, Energy Min-
ister Kevin Ramnarine said Cabinet
had agreed to the grant of $4.5
million to UTT for two projects:
one to quantify heavy oil resources
and another on using carbon diox-
ide from Point Lisas in Enhanced
Oil Recovery (EOR) projects.
The minister said the decision
was taken in the context of a need
to develop the country s heavy oil.
He said a recent paper presented
by Professor Richard Dawe, Dr Raf-
fie Hosein and Wayne Bertrand
concluded that there is 1.5 billion
barrels of heavy oil on land and a
further 3.6 billion barrels offshore.
"This is a significant resource
that cannot be ignored. The poten-
tial of EOR to produce heavy oil
in this country has never been fully
realised and we believe that this
has significant potential to increase
oil production on land and in the
Gulf of Paria.
"It is expected that the land-
based 3D seismic will be very valu-
able in planning further invest-
ments in EOR. Of course all
investment is driven by economics
and I suspect we would need better
oil prices to justify investment in
heavy oil/EOR projects. Neverthe-
MAY 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENERGY | BG9
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