Texas company to ramp up oil recovery efforts in November

Published 4:56 pm Friday, October 12, 2007

A Texas energy company expects to begin extracting oil from a once abandoned field in Adams County along U.S. 84 by November.

Denbury Resources, based in Dallas, specializes in recovering oil from previously used wells.

Tracy Evans, vice president of reservoir engineering, said Wednesday that while work will likely begin in November, the site will not be fully completed until early 2008.

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Once the site is fully operational it will also provide about 30 to 40 new jobs.

Denbury’s latest venture in Adams County will tap the unused wells at the Cranfield site.

“We hope to start injecting in November,” Evans said.

Carbon dioxide is pumped into a wellhead at 3,000 pounds per square inch. Once inside, the carbon dioxide frees oil trapped in the rocks. When the well is saturated with carbon dioxide the loosened oil can be pumped to the surface.

The rocks at the Cranfield site are part of the Lower Tuscaloosa formation. Evans thinks they are filled with oil.

“We study all the big sites,” he said.

He said that up to 50 percent of oil in a field is left in the ground after traditional pumping. CO2 flooding can remove up to 17 percent of the untapped oil, Evans said.

While the Cranfield field was primarily used in the 1950s and 60s, Evans said that the CO2 flooding will be a long-term project.

“Tertiary recovery can last almost as long as primary recovery,” he said.

Evans said that the Cranfield site will likely provide oil for the next 10 to 20 years.

Danbury is currently operating seven sites in Mississippi and Louisiana.