Water injection at oil fields: the economics?

This model captures the energy economics of a conventional waterflooding project in the oil industry, in order to maintain reservoir pressure and productivity at maturing oilfields.

Our base case calculations suggest strong economics, with 30% IRRs at $40/bbl oil on a project costing $2.5/boe in capex and $1/bbl of incremental opex.

Please download the data-file to stress-test parameters such as commodity prices, water injection rates, reservoir pressure, electricity prices and other economic assumptions.

Global CCS Projects Database

This data-file captures 65 carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities around the world, of which c30 are currently running, with capacity to sequester 40MTpa of CO2. Capacity should rise 2.5x by 2030.

As costs deflate, CCS is expanding to more countries, more industries and away from EOR towards dedicated geological storage (charts above).

The full data-file includes each facility, its location, involved companies, construction status, volumes (MTpa), CCS process, industrial source of CO2, start-up, storage type, capex ($M where available), capex cost ($/ton where available) and 2-3 lines of notes per facility.

Solar Use within the Oil Industry?

This data-file tabulates 20 solar projects being undertaken within the oil industry, in order to clean up production and reduce emissions. More projects are needed, as the total inventory will obviate <1% of oil industry CO2 by 2025.

For each project, we estimate total TWH of power generation per annum, the CO2 emissions avoided, the timeline; and we also summarize the project details.

Leading examples include the use of concentrated solar for steam-EOR in Oman and California, Solar PV in the Permian, and leading efforts from specific companies: such as Occidental, Shell, Eni and other Majors.

At the cutting edge of EOR?

This data-file summarises 120 patents into Enhanced Oil Recovery, filed by the leading Oil Majors in 2018. Based on the data, we identify the “top five companies” and what they are doing at the cutting edge of EOR.

We find clear leaders for water-flooding both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs. At mature fields, we think these operators may be able to derive >10pp higher recovery factors; and by extension, lower decline rates, higher cash flows and higher margins.

As more of the world’s oilfields age, having an “edge” in EOR technology will make particular Oil Majors more desirable operators and partners, to avoid the higher costs and CO2 intensities of developing new fields to replace them.


CO2-EOR in Shale: the economics

We have modelled the economics of CO2-EOR in shale, after interest in this topic spiked 2.3x YoY in the 2019 technical literature. Our deep-dive research into the topic is linked here.

The economics appear positive, with a 15% IRR under our base case assumptions, and very plausible upside to 25-30%.

There is potential to sequester 3.5bn tons of CO2 in shale formations in the US, plus another 40bn tons internationally, for a CO2 disposal fee of c$40/ton, which we have quantified based on the technical literature.

The model also allows you to stress-test your own assumptions such as: oil prices, gas prices, CO2 prices, CO2 tax-credits, compressor costs and productivity uplift. The impacts on IRR, NPV and FCF are visible.

Shale EOR: the economics

This model assesses the economics of a shale-EOR huff’n’puff project. NPVs and IRRs can be stress-tested as a function of oil prices, gas prices, production-profiles, EUR uplifts and capex costs. Our input assumptions are derived from technical papers. We think that economics are increasingly exciting, as the technology is de-risked. As more gas is stranded in key shale basins, base case IRRs rise from c15% well-level IRRs to c20%.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.