State owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is planning to introduce carbon dioxide (CO2) injection technology in its Gandhar oil field in Gujarat. It will be first large scale CO2-injected project in Asia.
Its purpose is to recover extra 20 million barrels of crude oil under enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programme. EOR programme aims at recovering up to 20% of residual oil from ageing oil fields to improve India’s energy security.
Gandhar located in Gujarat is one of ONGC’s major brownfields and was discovered in 1983. The field produces approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day and is on the decline.
Under this project, ONGC plans to invest $75 million in CO2 capture and another $200 million in injector producer network to recover an extra 15% of residual oil currently valued at $1.36 billion. It will be operational in 20 months. ONGC is in talks with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for utilising nearly 5 million tonnes of emitted gas (CO2) from the latter’s Gandhar plant.
CO2 injection technology
CO2 injection technology is a proven concept in the West specially the US and Canada. Under it, CO2 gas is injected with residual oil in the ageing field in which total oil production has been declining. It reduces its viscosity and makes it easier to displace oil from the rock pores. CO2 gas also swells oil, thereby pushing it towards the producing well for extraction.