Denbury’s Commercial Project

Denbury’s project combines the proven techniques of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) with the characterization and monitoring needed for effective production of additional oil.

1. Obtaining CO2

The CO2 EOR project at Bell Creek will require a consistent supply of about 1 million tons of CO2 each year for several years. The CO2 will be provided from the ConocoPhillips Lost Cabin natural gas-processing facility in Fremont County, Wyoming. Natural gas must be in a pure form for transport and use; therefore, the plant removes about 50 million ft3 (1.42 m3) of CO2 from the raw natural gas produced each day. In the past, the Lost Cabin plant would release the CO2 into the atmosphere (the current practice at many other gas-processing facilities), but now the CO2 will be held for use at the Bell Creek Field. Learn more about Denbury's CO2 EOR efforts.
Photo of ConocoPhillips Lost Cabin natural-gas processing facility.

2. Transporting CO2

In order to transport CO2 to the field, Denbury built the Greencore Pipeline. Construction of the 232-mile CO2 pipeline began in August 2011 at the Lost Cabin natural gas plant. Completed in December 2012, the pipeline runs northeast through Wyoming into the Bell Creek Field in southeastern Montana. In the future, the pipeline may be extended to supply CO2 to other oil fields in the region.
Photo of CO2 pipeline construction of the Greencore Pipeline.

3. CO2 EOR Injection/Separation

Since May 2013, Denbury has been injecting CO2 ~4500 feet (1.37 km) underground into a mature oil reservoir to help produce more oil through the EOR process. A separation facility removes the portion of CO2 that is dissolved in the oil produced from EOR operations. Compressors maintain the pressures needed for CO2 injection. EOR will be conducted in phases, moving from area to area in the oil field. All wells will be inspected and refurbished prior to CO2 EOR operations.
Diagram of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) using carbon dioxide.

4. CO2 Monitoring and Verification

The CO2 will be monitored and accounted for from the Lost Cabin plant to its arrival at the Bell Creek Field. At the field, monitoring of CO2 input at the wells and CO2 recovery at the primary oil purification facility (on-site facility that separates CO2 dissolved in the oil from EOR operations) will provide accountability during operations. Over a number of years, essentially all of the injected CO2 used in the EOR process will be trapped in the underground injection zone.
Photo of a core sample from the Bell Creek Oil Field.