Safety Aspects of Processing Carbon Dioxide for CCS and CO2-EOR Projects
- Hisham N.H. Saadawi (ADCO Abu Dhabi UAE)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Middle East Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Conference and Exhibition, 2-4 April, Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 6.5.1 Air Emissions, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion
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In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the Gulf Region in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as well as the use of Carbon Dioxide for Enhance Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) in the Middle East Region.
Unlike H2S, carbon dioxide does not support combustion. However, carbon dioxide can cause asphyxia if inhaled in large quantities. While many Middle Eastern oil producers have experience with sour oil and gas fields, there is little or no experience with CCS and CO2-EOR operation.
For CCS and CO2-EOR projects, carbon dioxide is typically transported in pipelines at pressure above its critical pressure (73.82 bar). In the event of depressurization or loss of containment, the escaping CO2 will experience a sudden change in phase which may result in dry ice projectiles being expelled at very high velocities. Other hazards include cryogenic burns to the skin and catastrophic failure of carbon steel equipment due to low temperature metal embitterment.
Dealing with CO2 presents oil producers with new safety challenges. This paper discusses the safety aspects of handling carbon dioxide in CCS and CO2-EOR projects.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Gulf countries have some of the highest carbon emissions per capita in the world. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the Gulf Region in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as well as the use of Carbon Dioxide for Enhance Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR).
The first ever pilot for CO2-EOR in the Middle East was successfully commissioned and operated by ADCO in Abu Dhabi three years ago (Saadawi 2009). Abu Dhabi is also investigating capturing CO2 from various industrial sources. Saudi Aramco announced plans for injection CO2 in the southern part of the giant Ghawar field. Oil companies in Kuwait and Qatar are investigating the use of CO2 for EOR applications. While many Middle Eastern oil producers have experience with sour oil and gas fields, there is little or no experience with CCS and CO2-EOR operation. Carbon dioxide presents different safety challenges than hydrogen sulfide
2. Health Hazards of CO2
At room temperature and ambient pressure, CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas naturally present in the atmosphere in small quantities. However, volcanic activities can result in large clouds of gases containing CO2 with much large percentage than available in the atmosphere which are toxic to most forms of life (FitzGerald 2009). This was evident from the natural disaster that took place in August 1986 at Lake Nyos in Western Cameron in August 1986. Possibly as a result of an earth quake or a land slide, a cloudy mixture of carbon dioxide and water droplets rose violently from the lake. As the lethal cloud swept the villages down the adjacent valleys, it killed over 1700 people. Most victims appeared to have simply fallen asleep and died from asphyxiation.
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