Company to utilize area’s unused oil wells

Published 11:41 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NATCHEZ — Construction is nearly complete on a new oil recovery site on U.S. 84.

Denbury Resources, based in Dallas, specializes in recovering oil from previously used wells.

While Tracy Evans, vice president of reservoir engineering, said that work will likely begin in November, the site will not be fully completed until early 2008.

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Once the site is in fully operational it will also provide about 30 to 40 new jobs.

Denbury’s latest venture in Adams County will tap the unused wells at Cranfield field.

“We hope to start injecting in November,” Evans said.

Danbury uses an oil extraction method called CO2 (carbon-dioxide) flooding.

Carbon dioxide is pumped into a wellhead at 3,000 pounds per square inch once inside the carbon dioxide frees oil trapped in the rocks. Once the well is saturated with carbon dioxide the loosened oil can be pumped to the surface.

The rocks at the Cranfield site are part of the Lower Tuscaloosa formation; Evans thinks they are filled with oil.

“We study all the big sites,” he said.

He said that up to 50 percent of oil in a field is left in the ground after traditional pumping.

CO2 flooding can remove up to 17 percent of the untapped oil according to Evans.

And while the Cranfield field was primarily used in the 1950s and 60s Evans said that the CO2 flooding will be a long-term project.

“Tertiary recovery can last almost as long as primary recovery,” he said.

Evans said that the Cranfield site will likely provide oil for the next 10 to 20 years. According to Evans, the Little Creek field underwent saturation in 1984 and is still producing oil today.

Initially Denbury will get all of its carbon dioxide from a natural source near Jackson, however when the proposed Rentech plant opens that will change.

“We will buy everything they produce,” Evans said. He estimates that to be around 380 million cubic feet per day.

Danbury is currently operating seven sites in Mississippi and Louisiana.