Petroleum Technology Research Center

Regina, Canada

Petroleum Technology Research Center

Regina, Canada

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Sacuta N.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Gauvreau L.,Schlumberger | Greenberg S.E.,Illinois State Geological Survey
Energy Procedia | Year: 2013

When addressing community engagement and outreach, North American carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects have parameters unique to the continent, including the history of CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which goes back over 40 years in some jurisdictions and, aligned with this, the use of landmen and one-on-one dialogue with landowners and community residents that are well versed in oilfield technologies. These variables alone are in marked contrast to the CCS experiences of many global projects, which do not have the tradition of engaging in one-on-one discussion. Even where CCS projects have conducted extensive public consultation and education, significant opposition has shut down some, and put in jeopardy others, in a manner that contradicts the North American hydrocarbon experience. With the increase in North America of integrated CCS projects that go beyond CO2-EOR, a change in community engagement strategies has taken place under the unique auspices of the United States Department of Energy's (US DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Initiative (RCSP). Part of the planning in each of these seven geographic regions includes significant public education, outreach, and communications programs, particularly in areas unfamiliar with injection and storage technologies (i.e., outside of traditional oil producing areas). The bringing together of different demonstration projects' participants - not just nationally within the US but including projects in Western Canada - has allowed for the sharing of best practices between projects and across international jurisdictions. Such sharing is particularly true where the development of community engagement guidelines and strategies are concerned. The publication in 2010 of the US DOE's Best Practices for Public Outreach and Education for Carbon Storage Projects is one example where the experiences of several United States demonstration projects were brought to bear on developing communications guidelines, which in turn were used to help develop public outreach strategies for such projects as Aquistore in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada [1]. Another example of such international information sharing is the World Resources Institute's Guidelines for Community Engagement in Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transport, and Storage Projects where, over a period of a year and a half, international experts were brought together for round table discussions to form the basis of the guidelines and provide an international peer review [2]. More recently, the development of an emergency response plan for the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project, led by the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, one of the RCSP partnerships, drew upon this international collaborative structure, employing the experience of communicators from Schlumberger Carbon Services, the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (managers of the IEAGHG Weyburn- Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project) and the Illinois State Geological Survey to develop a map of potential crisis points. This planning process brought together the lessons learned from various projects, risk assessments, media experiences, and best practices to help identify potential risks for the project (a list of events and scenarios) with the goal of creating response paths and directions for the management of risks and the mitigation of potential threats. These scenarios involved not only potential external issues - such as leakage or pipeline failure - but also addressed management issues internal to a project such as loss of key personnel or loss of funding. The development of this emergency response plan is an example to other projects of the value of interconnecting communications experiences between projects, and of identifying common high-risk scenarios that require advanced response planning.


Whittakera S.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Rostron B.,University of Alberta | Hawkes C.,University of Saskatchewan | White D.,Geological Survey of Canada | And 2 more authors.
Energy Procedia | Year: 2011

Injection of CO 2 into the Weyburn Oil Field, Saskatchewan, Canada, began October 2000 and 10 years later approximately 18 MT of CO 2 will have been stored in the geological reservoir. The CO 2 injection is part of an ongoing enhanced oil recovery effort that will extend to 2035 and likely beyond. Both Weyburn and the adjacent Midale oil field are highly suitable for CO 2-EOR and it is expected that, combined, more than 40 MT CO 2 will eventually be stored in these carbonate reservoirs. Currently about 2.4 MT and 0.4 MT CO 2/year are being stored in the Weyburn and Midale fields, respectively, which now represent the largest site of monitored geological storage of CO 2 globally. The Weyburn Field is operated by Cenovus Energy and the Midale Field by Apache Canada. The anthropogenic CO 2 used at Weyburn-Midale is a by-product of coal gasification at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota, USA. The compressed CO 2 is delivered to the oil fields through a 323 km pipeline that crosses the international boundary. The IEA GHG Weyburn-Midale CO 2 Monitoring and Storage Project was established prior to the onset of CO 2 injection at Weyburn to assess monitoring methods and subsurface processes associated with the injection of CO 2 into geological storage sites. This research program is now in its second phase of research. Baseline 3D seismic surveys were performed over the Weyburn Field before injection and subsequent repeat 3D seismic surveys have been taken during the course of injection spanning multiple years and have indicated that CO 2 distribution within the reservoir can be imaged seismically. Similarly, repeat reservoir fluid sampling surveys have monitored a range of chemical and isotopic parameters to help identify processes associated with CO 2-rock interaction. In addition, multiple soil gas and shallow hydrology surveys have been performed during the past 10 years with no indication of CO 2 reaching the surface. The current research program is building on many of the results obtained during the first phase of work on the Weyburn Field. For example, some of the current research includes applying stochastic methods to relate fluid chemistry to the seismic data to better characterize the distribution of CO 2 in the subsurface. Additional methods of modeling CO 2 distribution post-injection are also being demonstrated and integrated into several risk assessment methodologies. A detailed well database has been developed to catalogue characteristics associated with wells drilled at various stages of field development using different cementing practices and completion methods to assist with providing parameters for long-term modeling of well behaviour. In addition, a downhole well integrity testing program to examine cement sheath characteristics will be implemented in two wells in each of the fields. In summary, more than 30 research studies are being performed within this phase of the program to examine aspects of site characterization, well integrity, geochemical and geophysical monitoring methods and risk assessment. One of the goals for the work from this research program is to provide a best practices manual for the transition of CO 2-EOR sites into storage sites. This paper provides an overview of the studies and results developing from the research program. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Condor J.,9945 108 Street | Wilson M.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Energy Procedia | Year: 2013

This paper provides a broad description of the Saskatchewan Environmental Code (SEC), its purposes, and potential implications for the provincial energy and environmental sectors. We start with an introduction to the framework of the Saskatchewan Environmental Code, followed by a discussion of the Results-Based Regulations (RBR) and the differences between RBR and the more traditional Prescriptive-Based Regulations (PBR). Next, we summarize the 19 chapters grouped in the five divisions of the SEC and finish with a brief description of the public review and future tasks for the full development of the SEC. The new Saskatchewan Environmental code is a key component of the ministry's move to a results- Based Regulatory model which will enhance environmental protection while encouraging innovation. The new model represents a significant shift away from prescriptive legislation and regulations to a focus on holding proponents accountable for achieving desirable environmental outcomes.


Condor J.,Alberta De a partment of Energy | Wilson M.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Energy Procedia | Year: 2013

This paper discusses three options to implement a regulatory framework to accommodate geological storage of CO2 (GSC) in Saskatchewan, Canada. These options are - Utilization of current legislation following the same pattern as for the enhanced oil recovery project in Weyburn oil field, Saskatchewan, Canada. - Amendment of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (OGCA) and its existing regulations and the creation of protocols and/or standards that support those amendments. - Creation of new legislation (acts and regulations) We start by describing the current situation in Canada and Saskatchewan and the driving forces that motivate the implementation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans. Next we proceed to explain the foremost implications in adopting each of the three identified options based on four criteria: economic, technical, political, and administrative. Our analysis shows that the most convenient option at the moment is the amendment of existing legislation and the development of new protocols.


Jensen G.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources | Nickel E.,Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources | Whittaker S.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Rostron B.,University of Alberta
Energy Procedia | Year: 2011

The Weyburn Field, operated by Cenovus Energy, currently contains the largest amount of anthropogenic CO 2 injected and geologically stored in the world, with over 16 million tonnes of CO 2 sequestered as of June 2010. The IEA GHG Weyburn-Midale CO 2 Monitoring and Storage Project is in its Final Stage of research and is focussed on building on the results developed in Phase 1 of this study to provide a further understanding of parameters required to develop, implement and regulate carbon storage sites. One aspect of geological characterization of the storage site in this phase of research is to further develop the geological model used in Phase 1 by adding more wells and including several geological units not incorporated into the geological model of Phase 1. Additionally, improvements into the quantification of regional flow directions in and around the active CO 2 injection site by using hydrologic data (pressure tests and hydrochemistry analyses) not included in the original model. These stratigraphic, pressure, hydrochemical and temperature data of flow units in a 1865 km2 area around the Weyburn Field will better define fluid movement in the injection site and assist with long-term modeling of the fate of injected CO 2. Stratigraphic data from more than 900 wells are included in the current geological model including 200 newly picked wells. The Final Phase geological model includes: 1) an "altered zone" of anhydrite and dolostone at the up dip edge of the Weyburn-Midale reservoir that forms the caprock to the reservoir subjacent the regional seal formed by the Watrous Formation; 2) the Frobisher Evaporite, a variably thick anhydrite unit present at the base of the reservoir beneath the northern portion of the field; and 3) the Oungre Evaporite, an anhydrite/dolomite unit within the Ratcliffe beds present above the majority of the reservoir, all of which were not included in the Phase 1 model. Adding these units into the model required closely delineating the zero edges using isopach values, and then stacking the isopach thicknesses to proportionately fill the 3D The Weyburn Field, operated by Cenovus Energy, currently contains the largest amount of anthropogenic CO 2 injected and geologically stored in the world, with over 16 million tonnes of CO 2 sequestered as of June 2010. The IEA GHG Weyburn-Midale CO 2 Monitoring and Storage Project is in its Final Stage of research and is focussed on building on the results developed in Phase 1 of this study to provide a further understanding of parameters required to develop, implement and regulate carbon storage sites. One aspect of geological characterization of the storage site in this phase of research is to further develop the geological model used in Phase 1 by adding more wells and including several geological units not incorporated into the geological model of Phase 1. Additionally, improvements into the quantification of regional flow directions in and around the active CO 2 injection site by using hydrologic data (pressure tests and hydrochemistry analyses) not included in the original model. These stratigraphic, pressure, hydrochemical and temperature data of flow units in a 1865 km2 area around the Weyburn Field will better define fluid movement in the injection site and assist with long-term modeling of the fate of injected CO 2. Stratigraphic data from more than 900 wells are included in the current geological model including 200 newly picked wells. The Final Phase geological model includes: 1) an "altered zone" of anhydrite and dolostone at the up dip edge of the Weyburn-Midale reservoir that forms the caprock to the reservoir subjacent the regional seal formed by the Watrous Formation; 2) the Frobisher Evaporite, a variably thick anhydrite unit present at the base of the reservoir beneath the northern portion of the field; and 3) the Oungre Evaporite, an anhydrite/dolomite unit within the Ratcliffe beds present above the majority of the reservoir, all of which were not included in the Phase 1 model. Adding these units into the model required closely delineating the zero edges using isopach values, and then stacking the isopach thicknesses to proportionately fill the 3D. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Rostron B.,University of Alberta | Whittaker S.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Energy Procedia | Year: 2011

In July 2000, the IEA-GHG Weyburn CO2 monitoring and storage project was initiated to study the geological storage of CO2 as part of an EOR project planned for the Weyburn Field in Saskatchewan, Canada. Over the period 2000-present, a diverse group of researchers have worked on: assessing the integrity of the geosphere encompassing the Weyburn oil pool for effective long-term storage of CO2; monitoring the movement of the injected CO2, and assessing the risk of migration of CO2 from the injection zone to the surface. Learnings from 10+ years of hydrogeological investigations include: i) low flow rates and favourable flow directions indicate the Weyburn reservoir is an excellent place to store CO 2; ii) shallow groundwater monitoring reveals no significant changes in water chemistry that can be attributed to storage operations (interactions); and iii) co-ordination and integration of multiple hydrogeological research programs on the same site can be rewarding but challenging. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Sacuta N.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Anderson K.,Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute
Energy Procedia | Year: 2014

The publication in 2012 of Best Practices for Validating CO2 Geological Storage: Observations and Guidance from the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project marked the culmination of 12 years of research at the Weyburn and Midale oilfields in south-eastern Saskatchewan, Canada. From 2000 to 2012, close to 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were injected into depleted oil reservoirs during enhanced oil recovery operations (EOR); the measurement/ monitoring research conducted with those EOR operations demonstrated that storage in deep geological formations is a safe and effective means of reducing GHG emissions. The wealth of results accumulated and disseminated during the Weyburn-Midale Project (WMP) has been important for CCUS and CCS project managers and researchers alike, but serious public concerns continue worldwide related to the safety of CO2underground storage. In late 2012, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute approached the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (managers of the WMP) to produce a "core messages" booklet that would offer answers to questions that persistently arise from the general public about carbon capture and storage, by incorporating the scientific information garnered over the life of the WMP. The booklet, What Happens When CO2 is Stored Underground: Q&A from the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project was published in 2013 and engaged several steps in its development including a review of existing frequently asked questions on CCS; identification of additional questions and answers using WMP results; community focus group analyses of a completed draft of the booklet; a peer review of the booklet and the focus group responses by CCS communications experts; and, finally, a redrafted final publication. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Young A.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Sacuta N.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Energy Procedia | Year: 2014

As an independent research and monitoring project, Aquistore intends to demonstrate that storing liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground (in a brine and sandstone water formation), is a safe, workable solution to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Aquistore is Canada's first dedicated CO2 storage project, and is an integral component of SaskPower's Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Demonstration project. In collaboration with SaskPower, Aquistore will be the first integrated project globally to demonstrate deep saline CO2 capture, transport, and storage on a commercial scale from a coal fired power plant. CO2 will be captured at unit 3 of the Boundary Dam power-station (BD3), transported via underground pipeline to the Aquistore site, and injected to a depth of 3.4 km. Strategic outreach and engagement are necessary for ensuring CCS projects have support. Even where CCS awareness is high, many CCS projects - successful and failed - have received negative attention. Aquistore's communications program was designed with best practices in mind and a focus on public engagement and education [1, 2]. An integral part of Aquistore's public outreach program was the hosting of community open houses. In April 2012, the project hosted its first open house. Staffed by project members and researchers, this open house was a large-scale effort to engage with the local community. Over 75 interested citizens and local dignitaries attended this event and learned about the project. Following this initial outreach, a broader program of public engagement began.


Luo P.,Saskatchewan Research Council | Wang X.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Gu Y.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Fluid Phase Equilibria | Year: 2010

Asphaltene precipitation plays an important role in both oil production and refining processes. In this paper, asphaltenes are precipitated from a heavy oil sample under different experimental conditions by using three different light alkanes, i.e., propane, n-pentane, and n-heptane. A variety of analytical techniques are applied to characterize the precipitated asphaltenes and deasphalted heavy oil (i.e., maltenes), such as the density and viscosity measurements, vapour-pressure osmometry, freezing-point osmometry, scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement, and simulated distillation for compositional analysis. It is found that the yields and properties of the precipitated asphaltenes and remaining maltenes strongly depend on the specific precipitant tested and the liquid precipitant-to-oil volume ratio used. The asphaltene yield decreases as the carbon number of an alkane increases, while it increases monotonically and finally reaches a plateau if the liquid precipitant-to-oil volume ratio increases up to 20-40 for n-pentane and n-heptane, respectively. As a result, n-heptane-precipitated asphaltenes (C7-asphaltenes) have the highest molecular weight and aromaticity among the three kinds of precipitated asphaltenes. C7-asphaltenes are bright and black particles, whereas n-pentane-precipitated asphaltenes (C5-asphaltenes) are dull and brown powders. Propane-precipitated asphaltenes (C3-asphaltenes) together with some amount of co-precipitated resins are found to be highly viscous and semi-solid like immediately after the flashed-off process but become more and more liquid-like afterward. Compositional analysis results of the original heavy crude oil and three different maltenes indicate that the carbon numbers of most precipitated asphaltenes are higher than C50. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Whittaker S.,Petroleum Technology Research Center | Worth K.,Petroleum Technology Research Center
Energy Procedia | Year: 2011

Aquistore is an integrated carbon capture-geologic storage project that will demonstrate the effectiveness of the CCS process, and will ultimately transition into a commercial operation. Initially about 550 tonnes/day of CO2 will be captured from a steam methane reformer associated with the Consumers' Co-operative Refineries Limited's refinery in, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada using an amine based process starting late 2012 to 2013. Capture will be increased to near 1600 tonnes/day CO2 by introducing capture to a second SMR in subsequent years. A 5 to 10 km pipeline will be constructed to transport the compressed CO2 to the injection location. Selection of the injection site location is based primarily on geological characteristics, proximity to the CO2 source, ease of pipeline routing, and availability of rights to the subsurface. In Saskatchewan, current regulations around injecting and storing CO2 in the subsurface fall under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, and injection of CO 2 requires a lease of pore space on Crown Land, or an agreement with the Freehold Rights owner. A significant research component is associated with this project coordinated by a Science and Engineering Research Committee that has focused on assessing injectivity, capacity and containment. A static geologic model for the proposed injection site integrates available geological data and forms the basis for flow simulations to model plume distribution. The nearest existing well to the proposed injection site that penetrates to the injection unit is about 20 km away, and was extensively cored and logged and serves as a preliminary data well for reservoir mineralogy and petrophysical characteristics. The geologic beds forming the injection target are the Cambro-Ordovician flow unit within the Williston Basin that is comprised of the Deadwood Formation and Black Island member of the Winnipeg Formation. The top of this 200 m-thick clastic package occurs at the base of the sedimentary succession at around 2000 m depth. Shales of the Ice Box member of the Winnipeg Formation form the primary seal at the top of the storage complex. Regionally, the Cambro-Ordovician unit has been used for decades for injection of large volumes of waste brine associated with potash solution mining; these operations provide proxy support that the injection characteristics are generally excellent in these units. Research efforts are coordinated with field operations including designing and instrumenting one injection well and up to two monitoring wells. Baseline studies will be performed including seismic, shallow hydrology and other surface and near-surface surveys. Prior to receiving the CO2 stream from the refinery, injectivity tests will be run using trucked-in CO2 and water. A communications strategy has been implemented to inform the public, regulators and media regarding activities associated with the project. Current partners in the project include federal and provincial governments, pipeline operators, power utilities, oil field service companies and the refinery operators. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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