The phrase "boom or bust" hangs around oil field workers'
necks like an albatross. After all, the oil field business ebbs and floods
like few others. As a result, people can understand just how committed
and hard-working folks are who make their living from oil. People who
work in the Bakken oil fields themselves know too well the sacrifices,
such as contending with
workplace injury, they must make to continue in a business characterized by such highs
and lows. However, good news is hanging in the air, as companies are studying
the data to confirm that enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using CO2 may turn
out useful in the Bakken oil fields, which would represent yet another
multi-billion ton reservoir that could economically provide for the area
while capturing carbon.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
According to the
US Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Fuels, EOR refers to techniques that allow increased recovery of oil in depleted
or high viscosity oil fields. Techniques may include pumping pressurized
carbon dioxide though injection wells to force out existing oil in the
filed. More, the techniques are reported to sequester the harmful CO2,
removing it from our atmosphere. Overall, most oil wells only capture
a small percentage of the available oil, so EOR represents a significant
change in the potential for capturing oil and sequestering CO2, as well.
Viability of EOR
In a recent article in the
Sidney Herald, Rene Jean reports that "The Energy and Environmental Research Center
at University of North Dakota has recently been awarded a $2.5 million
grant to enhance its data collection in an ongoing study at Bell Creek
Field, where enhanced oil recovery using liquified carbon dioxide has
been deployed as a viable commercial strategy since 2013." The industry
has used EOR for more than forty years, but its capacity to sequester
carbon dioxide, a deleterious by-product of our oil consumption, has significantly
increased the industry's attention.
Despite the potential to mitigate climate change, no industrial operation
comes without risks. In a recent
study by the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, business risks exist. And that means
risks for worker injury. Of course, leakage concerns always accompany
any attempt to keep pressurized gases beneath the earth's surface,
but for workers, "the operational risks of capturing, compressing,
transporting and injecting CO2...[and] the risk of blowouts or very rapid
CO2 release from wells" loom over their heads.
Oil field work injury can occur in any circumstance, and Odegaard Braukmann
Law has the expertise to fight for your rights, if you have been injured.
Contact us for a free consultation.