Oil Recovery Procedure Coming To Bakken

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.

EOR Risks

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.

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