Tremendous effort has been taken in the field of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) since the 1970s. Comparatively, enhanced gas recovery (EGR) is a recent concept that has taken shape owing to the increased demand of natural gas across the globe. During the producing life of a gas field, the reservoir follows many stages. Initially, when a gas field is brought into production, gas flow occurs naturally as there is existing reservoir pressure. As the reservoir pressure drops, Nitrogen (N) is typically injected to boost gas pressure in order to displace the gas. This method is known as enhanced gas recovery (EGR). The volume of gas recovered is generally 75% more than what is extracted without EGR. Extensive research is being undertaken in this field with regard to feasibility of extraction through carbon dioxide (CO2) as an effective element for EGR. This gives a dual benefit of enhanced gas production as well as creates an avenue for carbon sequestration under the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technique. The combination of carbon dioxide for enhanced gas recovery (CO2-EGR) and permanent carbon dioxide storage in oil and gas reservoirs has the potential to provide a critical near-term solution for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A varied range of factors drive the enhanced gas recovery (EGR) market. The most important driver for the market is the perpetually increasing worldwide demand and consumption for natural gas and methane. Another colossal factor is the need to reduce costs while increasing efficiency of a reservoir. Keeping that in mind, gas extraction and production (E&P) companies undertake this technique to maximize production and at the same time, increase the well pressure for swift extraction. Contrarily, the downside to EGR is that investments required, in putting the right mechanism in place, are capital-intensive and need extensive expertise to make the project viable. Also, injecting a gas for extraction, leads to carbon dioxide or nitrogen getting embedded with the natural gas. This gives rise to another process by which the extracted gas needs to be treated and separated from impurities, leading to additional costs for the producer. Constant development in this field will create avenues for newer and more efficient technologies that will drive the market in the future.
The enhanced gas recovery (EGR) market can be bifurcated based on the feedstock used to build the necessary pressure in the reservoir. Water pooling and nitrogen injection is the norm when it comes to EGR. But research conducted in recent years has also given rise to flue gas injection, or under the carbon sequestration schemes, carbon dioxide injection. The shift towards carbon dioxide injection has occurred due to recent findings that conclude that since CO2 is heavier than natural gas, it creates a pool under the reservoir rock after which the natural gas can be easily extracted.
Regionally, enhanced gas recovery is widespread, but mainly concentrated in the North American region, specifically the U.S., Canada, Greenland and Gulf of Mexico, due to the abundance of shale gas reserves. European gas producers are also putting measures in place to use EGR, mainly in Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the rest of the Arctic Sea region. Countries in the Asia Pacific region which have employed EGR are Japan, South Korea, China and Australia. Across the Rest of the World, Qatar, Libya, Angola and Nigeria have started planning procedures as well.
Some of the key companies opearting in the enhanced gas recovery market are: The Linde Group, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Praxair, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, NALCO Energy Services and Tiorco, LLC.
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