It has been disappointing to see how many media folks got suckered into the false propaganda put out by the protestors [of the pipeline in North Dakota] and never bothered to check out who was really behind this agitation fomented by anarchists. The former director of PHMSA, the federal agency that regulates pipelines, said Energy Transfer, the company overseeing the building of the $3.87 billion crude oil pipeline, has gone over and above what is required. We applaud what the top Energy Transfer executive had to say about the US Army Corps of Engineers foot-dragging. “This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given,” said CEO Kelcy Warren.*
Carbon dioxide has been used in over 13,000 wells in the USA for enhanced recovery of oil. It is one of those elements along with water, gas and steam that are all used successfully to push the remaining amounts of oil up to the surface from existing reservoirs. Enter North Dakota where a lot of money is being spent — $400,000 from the ND Industrial Commission along with the $2 million from the Feds – to see if there are opportunities that can be exploited. So far, it appears very unlikely that there are not large sources of CO2 immediately available.
Add to that this comment from researchers who told the Industrial Commission: “Pilot-scale CO2 injection tests in the Bakken have had limited success and there is no clear, straightforward answer regarding the most effective approach for improving oil productivity in the Bakken.”
So that now brings us to XOP Energy, which was asked by Lynn Helms, director of the ND of Mineral Resources, to apply for 160-acre spacing in Dunn County so 500 tons of CO2 could be dumped down two of its wells at the rate of 50 tons a day. During the Nov. 17 hearing, there seemed to be no plausible explanation of what the CO2 would be doing except mixing with oil in the well reservoir. Our efforts to speak with John Harju, director of the Energy & Environmental Center, for an explanation were unsuccessful. We too, are in favor of good research that will enhance the oil and gas industry. However, we will continue to question efforts that wander away from legitimate research.
[*NOTE: the Dakota Access pipeline will move 475,000 BOPD, which will help reduce costs for moving crude oil out of the Williston Basin, making it more competitive with other basins. It currently costs $12 - $13 a barrel to move oil to the Gulf Coast; the pipeline will reduce that cost by half.]
- Category: U.S. Business
- Written by Dennis Blank, Oil Patch Hotline
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