Carbon sequestration field test begins

May 16, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy says its Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has started its first enhanced oil recovery field test in Illinois.

The consortium, one of seven regional partnerships created by the Energy Department, said teaming geologic sequestration with enhanced oil recovery might significantly boost oil production, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The test is designed to evaluate the potential for geologic sequestration in mature Illinois oil reservoirs as part of an enhanced oil recovery program. The process involves the addition of a gas, heat or chemicals to a reservoir to increase oil production -- primarily by increasing temperature or pressure or by lowering the oil's viscosity to improve its ability to flow through the reservoir.

The field test involves injecting carbon dioxide into a producing well for 3-5 days and then allowing the gas to soak for approximately a week. The well is placed back in production and the amount of fluids produced is measured.

Louden Field, in Fayette County, Ill., was chosen from a list of 38 nominated sites. The site is rural, flat agricultural land that been part of an existing oil field for more than 65 years.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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