Zama CO2 EOR Pilot Project
Alberta Energy CO2 Projects Royalty Credit Program
The Zama Keg River basin is a collection of over 800 pinnacle reefs, most of which have been depleted of oil through primary and secondary recovery methods. In 2004, Apache selected one depleted pool that had been used for acid gas (CO2 and H2S) disposal, reversed the flow from a well in the pool, and began producing oil.
Apache implemented the pilot utilizing acid gas that had been previously sent to a sulphur plant where the CO2 component was vented to atmosphere, and the H2S was converted into elemental sulphur. Apache shut down the sulphur plant and utilized all the CO2 and H2S for EOR purposes. The first pool commenced injection in December 2004 and continues to produce oil today at a rate of over 100 barrels per day. Apache has expanded the pilot to include four more pools, and continues to combine all acid gas produced at the Zama Gas Plant with the acid gas recovered from EOR operations and injected into these pools.
The Zama CO2 EOR Pilot Project has received international attention. The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University Of North Dakota operates the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR), one of seven partnerships established by the United States Department of Energy to develop CO2 emission reduction technologies. The EERC conducts research into measurement, monitoring and verification protocols to provide assurance that CO2 stored in the reservoir does indeed stay sequestered.
Under the Alberta Energy CO2 Projects Royalty Credit Program announced in 2004, Apache was awarded $5-million in royalty credits from Alberta Energy to support the implementation of a pilot program to test the concept of a vertical, top-down acid gas EOR flood, the first of its kind in the world. In addition, Natural Resources Canada also awarded Apache $3.1 million in grants.