With scientific collaboration with Norway the National Geophysical Research Institute plans to start a project to extract more oil from the existing heavy oil fields in India using green house gas carbon dioxide.
Talking to the Hindustan Times Director NGRI VP Dimri said, “India is able to extract only 27 per cent of its available oil - one of the major reason being the oil is extremely viscous or heavy. The viscosity of this oil can be reduced using carbon dioxide which would lead to enhanced oil recovery.”
There will be a “double advantage”,he said, as it would reduce carbon dioxide emission which is a threat to environmental pollution and a cause for global warming as also lead to increased oil recovery. India being the sixth largest emitter of carbon dioxide is concerned about to carbon dioxide sequestration (capturing carbon and storing it at a safe place),he added.
Oil is available in the sedimentary basins in India about 4 to 5 kilometers below the earth but about 50 per cent of the available oil is heavy and cannot be extracted with primary (automatic) pressure, secondary pressure injecting water ,steam and some chemicals or even by firing the front of the oil to make it less viscous and light, Dimri added.
Carbon dioxide chemically reacting with the heavy oil reduces the viscosity of the heavy oil to a greater extent and makes it light for being extracted easily, he said.
“The process is already being practiced in Norway and Canada. Both the countries extract about 60 per cent of their available oil. Now NGRI in collaboration with Sintef Group in Trondhiem, Norway, has agreed to start a new project on carbon dioxide sequestration for increasing oil recovery. We will get in touch with all the stake holders involved and may start the project in Cambay basin heavy oil field soon,” he added.
We have the technology to transport the carbon dioxide which we would need from thermal power plants to be injected in the heavy oil fields, he added.