In this week's issue of the CERM Knowledge Series, we take a look at the problem of global carbon dioxide emissions.
One-Dimensional Schematic Diagram of a Miscible CO2-EOR Process
This week's installment of the CERM Knowledge Series highlights some important terms that are used frequently when talking about enhanced oil recovery and The CERM Project.
Merriam Webster defines a road map as "a detailed plan to guide progress to a goal." A huge part of the CERM Project is developing a road map for the implementation of carbon dioxide EOR in Trinidad and Tobago. This road map is a strategic plan to achieve the large scale application of carbon dioxide as an enhanced oil recovery process.
The image above is an illustration of a typical road map for a CO2EOR project. The steps outlined here represent the intermediate goals and practical steps on the way to accomplishing the main objective.
The second installment of the CERM Knowledge Series is here! This week we're talking about different methods of Enhanced Oil Recovery.
Click the infographic below to learn more and don't forget to share the knowledge!
In an effort to increase awareness of Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery we are launching the CERM Knowledge Series! This series aims to provide background information to those who may not be familiar with CO2EOR. The focus will mainly be on concepts and processes relevant to The CERM Project.
Click here for the first installment in this series and help spread the knowledge by sharing with your friends or colleagues!
The CERM Project aims to provide information that will lead to increased oil production and possibly sequester carbon dioxide emissions. However, like most industrial processes, there are few risks associated with CO2EOR such as gas leaks and ground water contamination.
CERM has been conducting preliminary research as it relates to the general public’s reaction to CO2EOR. The two main apprehensions are safety and environmental concerns. Both of which can be remedied by properly educating the public on the process of CO2EOR, and ensuring that they are aware of policies already in place to mitigate the environmental risks.
The Trinidad and Tobago Environmental Management Act Chapter 35:05 outlines Designated Activities (24-29) specifically for the oil and gas industry. Designated Activities 25 and 27 are especially relevant to the CERM Project:
Through the process of obtaining a Certificate of Environmental Clearance, the operator will be required to state all cumulative potential risks and impacts, the proposed mitigation measures and a monitoring plan. The public will be given a chance to voice their opinion about these safety measures during stakeholder consultations.
The general public's other possible concerns may be related to the source, transport and storage of CO2, and the protocol to be followed in the event of a possible CO2 leak either into the underground water table or into the atmosphere. These issues will also be addressed under the Designated Activities of the Environmental Management Act.
Before environmental clearance is granted for any CO2EOR project, a thorough risk assessment and updated emergency response and oil spill contingency plans are required. The proximity of the project site to human and ecological receptors must also be considered, and the integrity of project components (pipelines, storage facilities, etc.) will be inspected.
The citizens of Trinidad and Tobago can be confident that CO2EOR will not be implemented on a larger scale until sufficient mitigation strategies are in place to address potential risks.
What is the Paris Climate Change Agreement?
The Paris Climate Change Agreement, also known as the Paris Accord, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to oversee mitigation of greenhouse gases, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The agreement was signed by 194 states and the European Union and has been ratified by 176 states and the European Union as of May 2018. Each country is responsible for determining and enacting its own strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developing countries will receive financial aid to cover the cost of switching to renewable energy and adapting to climate change. The main goal of the Paris Climate Change Agreement limit global warming by limiting the global temperature rise below 2°C in this century.
Trinidad and Tobago Carbon Emissions
Trinidad & Tobago has the highest carbon emissions per capita in the region, and second overall in the world. In 2016, the Trinidad and Tobago carbon dioxide emissions per capita was 25.72 metric tonnes, almost five times that of Barbados (5.41 metric tonnes per capita). The petrochemical industry is responsible for more than half of the carbon dioxide emissions in Trinidad and Tobago, while power generation and transport account for 23% and 6% of emissions respectively.
In 2016, the Trinidad and Tobago carbon dioxide emissions per capita was 25.72 metric tonnes.
The Ministry of Planning and Development has pledged to reduce cumulative carbon emissions by 15% in the power generation, transportation and industrialised sectors by the year 2030. While this step may help in global warming mitigation, there is so much more that can be done if the option of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and CO2EOR is considered. According to Dr. Adel Al Taweel and Dr. Donnie Boodlal from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), CO2EOR has the greatest potential for reducing emissions (approximately 7 Mt carbon dioxide per year).
If implemented on a larger scale, the CERM Project can significantly impact this country’s Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The CERM Project was launched on January 24th, 2017 by Professor Andrew Jupiter at the Energy Chamber Conference in Port of Spain Trinidad. Following an inaugural meeting on 2nd February 2017, the CERM Steering Committee was formed comprising representatives from MEEI, PETROTRIN, NGC, UWI and UTT. The Steering Committee is chaired by Honorary Fellow in Practice, Wayne Bertrand (UWI) and Dr. David Alexander (UTT). Dr. Lorraine Sobers (UWI) is the Project Coordinator.
Below is a recap of the CERM Timeline for the year 2017.
The CERM Project is a collaboration between academic institutions, The University of the West Indies (UWI) and The University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT), and Government Energy Institutions - the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI), PETROTRIN and the National Gas Company (NGC) toward sustainable development of known oil reserves using Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery.