A consortium led by oil companies Petrobras , TotalEnergies and Shell plans to test an innovative technology in an underwater oil field in Brazil. This technology focuses on the separation of oil and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) during extraction, with the purpose of reinjecting the resulting gas into the reservoir.
The main goal of this initiative is to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing the production capacity of the Libra oil field, according to the conglomerate TotalEnergies in a statement last Monday. Libra, located in the Santos basin, off the coast of Brazil and at a depth of 2,100 meters under a thick layer of salt, has estimated reserves between 8,000 and 12,000 million barrels of oil per day.
According to TotalEnergies’ description, this project represents a “pioneering technology” that will make it possible to “reduce the volume of gas extracted” to the surface.
Specifically, the oil separation process, which results in the formation of oil, natural gas, and carbon dioxide (CO2) present in the reservoir layers occurs on the seabed at the time of extraction, before the oil is brought to the surface.
Simultaneously, the gas is reintroduced into the subsoil. The Libra field is under the management of the Brazilian company Petrobras (38.6%), in collaboration with TotalEnergies (19.3%), Shell Brasil (19.3%), China National Petroleum Corporation (9.65%). , China National Offshore Oil Corporation (9.65%) and PPSA (Pré-Sal Petróleo SA, 3.5%). Many hydrocarbon producers are exploring emerging CO 2 capture and storage technologies as a strategy to maintain part of their activity and at the same time mitigate emissions of this gas, which is the main contributor to global warming.
What is CO2 capture?
Carbon capture is a proposed technique to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or, more commonly, prevent its release into it. CCS involves the separation of CO 2 emitted by industry and energy generation during combustion processes, and then transporting it to a geological storage site for long-term isolation from the atmosphere.
The chemical process of CO 2 capture involves a significant energy cost and, in many cases, can result in the generation of additional carbon dioxide. This process simply delays its release, since it cannot be stored indefinitely. However, the captured CO 2 could be used in various applications.
Although CO 2 has been injected into geological formations for various purposes, long-term storage of CO 2 emissions is a relatively recent concept.
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