Apache derives benefit from the Earth and we take our environmental responsibility seriously. We support the identification and development of cost-effective emission-reduction projects that are economic to implement, yet result in significant reductions in greenhouse gases. Apache operates two CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects in Canada, in Zama, Alberta, and Midale, Saskatchewan. This is the most of any producer in Canada.
Committed to reducing the use of surface water in hydraulic fracturing, Apache partnered to design and build an innovative water treatment plant in the Horn River Basin. The plant recovers and re-uses fracture stimulation fluids to create a sustainable cycle of water use. Apache also works with stakeholders, First Nations and government to reduce our overall environmental footprint and maximize efficient infrastructure development.
Apache believes that environmental and economic responsibility are not mutually exclusive. We recognize the benefit we derive from the Earth, and Apache takes our environmental responsibility seriously. Nowhere is our commitment more evident than at Apache’s Midale CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project, located just outside of Midale in southeastern Saskatchewan.
Producing a daily average of 4,600 barrels of oil, Midale is the second-largest carbon dioxide-based enhanced oil recovery project in Canada. Alongside our partners at the neighbouring Cenovus-operated Weyburn field, Weyburn-Midale forms the largest CO2 EOR project in the world.
Apache is a proud participant in the International Energy Association’s Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project. This project leads global scientific research into the underground behavior of CO2 and develops best practices for carbon injection and storage at similar projects around the world.
Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) refers to any number of techniques used to increase the production of an oil well and extend its lifespan. At Midale, Apache employs CO2 EOR – the injection of waste carbon dioxide into the reservoir. Midale’s CO2 requirements are supplied by pipeline from Dakota Gasification Company’s SynFuels Gasification Plant in Beulah, North Dakota.
CO2 EOR provides two tremendous benefits to Apache’s operations at Midale: first, pressure in the field’s reservoirs is restored, allowing production from wells that may have otherwise been considered exhausted. At present, approximately one half of Midale’s production comes as a direct result of Apache’s CO2 operations, meaning that over the next 20 years an additional 45 to 60 million barrels of oil will be recovered. Once thought to be near depletion, CO2 EOR has extended Midale’s life by more than 30 years.
The second benefit is that carbon dioxide is permanently and safely stored in impermeable rock. Apache injects 25 million cubic feet, or 1,300 tonnes, of CO2 into the Midale field every day which would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. Over the full life of the project, 8.75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide will be sequestered at Midale, the equivalent of removing two million cars from the road for a year. Carbon Capture and Storage is quickly becoming recognized as an important part of international efforts to mitigate climate change, and was recommended for inclusion as a Clean Development Mechanism at December 2010’s COP16 conference in Mexico City by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC.