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February 9, 2016

Hydrofracker: There Isn’t Enough Carbon Dioxide

In a complexity of ironies, the shale industry is looking for more of a greenhouse gas to improve production from fractured wells.

“The oil industry would like to have more CO2,” said Robert Kleinberg, energy adviser for hydraulic fracturing firm Schlumberger, speaking at an Energy Information Agency conference Tuesday.

The boom that has extended U.S. reliance on gas may also provide a means of continuing coal use. Demand for carbon dioxide is a key aspect of the marketability of sequestration technologies, which will be needed to meet proposed EPA standards for new coal power plants.

Oil industry has been using liquefied carbon dioxide for years to enhance recovery from conventional wells and now producers are looking to use it to get more out of shale wells.

“Carbon dioxide is a magical fluid for oil recovery,” Kleinberg said. The only problem is there isn’t much of it available.

For various reasons, other tricks producers use on traditional wells don’t work in shale, leaving about 95 percent of oil in the formation.

The industry is also trying to figure out how to better prop open hydrofractures, which may extend for 1000 feet from a well leg but then mostly collapse because injected sand or other material only reaches out 300 feet, he said.

Comments (59)

  1. PetroleumTechnology

    July 16, 2014
    10:54 a.m.

    What price are they willing to pay for the CO2?

  2. Amanda Nevada

    July 20, 2014
    8:07 a.m.

    In this 2007 video, a charlatan named Al Gore claims that the north polar ice cap will disappear by 2014:

  3. simkatu

    July 23, 2014
    12:40 p.m.

    So what? 99% of climatologists and 100% of all climate scientist organizations know that global warming and climate change are occuring and that part of the problem is increased human production of CO2. So a politician got the time frame wrong. Big deal. In the next hundred or two hundred years there will be drastic changes due to increased temperatures.

  4. Mona

    July 28, 2014
    7:09 p.m.

    Are you willing to bet money on that?

  5. simkatu

    July 29, 2014
    2:06 a.m.

    Yes. Of course I would. It’s a near scientific certainty. Just like Romney losing the last election to Obama.

  6. Mona

    July 29, 2014
    4:20 a.m.

    Hindsight is 20/20. The truth is that they can’t even get the forecast right most of the time, let alone know what the climate is going to be. Even the IPCC admits they don’t know.

  7. peedee

    Oct. 4, 2014
    8:31 p.m.

    Yeah, fossil fuels contribution as measured by the IPCC itself is less than 0.018% of overall ‘climate change™’ GHG production.
    Worth crushing America’s economy under a $1 TRILLION a year ‘renewables energy’ tax-and-rebate-to-Corp program, isn’t it? Because that’s what they’re demanding, $1 TRILLION per year.

  8. StupidPolice

    Oct. 15, 2014
    6:42 p.m.

    Complete nonsense. There are hundreds of top climatologists who are totally against the concept of anthropogenic global warming. This is nothing but ignorant bluster.

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