Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Climate for Change: German Experts Offer Greener Idea for Oil, Gas Drilling

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Climate for Change: German Experts Offer Greener Idea for Oil, Gas Drilling

Article excerpt

TULSA - Energy industry experts from Germany and the United States discussed Thursday how to use innovative drilling techniques to cut emissions and limit effects on the environment.

The oil and gas and mining sectors face similar challenges: to remain profitable while following strict environmental regulations, said Yasmina Sassi, senior consultant with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States. The Houston- based group sponsored the climate symposium at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa.

"The symposium serves as an exchange of current research, innovations and solutions to these challenges," Sassi said. "This fosters communication between the U.S. community and German experts."

Experts discussed environmental issues around tight rock resources, cutting carbon dioxide emissions and the extraction of oil and gas from shale.

One idea discussed was using a technique to eliminate CO2 while enhancing natural gas production in shale formations.

CO2 has been used for years to enhance oil and gas recovery in conventional sandstone formations, said John P. Martin, founder and principal consultant of JPMartin Energy Strategy LLC. A new technique for shale formations involves pumping the gas into the ground for five years, said I. Yucel Akkutlu, a professor in the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M University.

The technique would produce 90 percent of the natural gas while locking the CO2 in the underground rock, Akkutlu said.

"This would eliminate the CO2, reduce greenhouse emissions and produce natural gas," Akkutlu said.

The kink in the theory is the U.S. has no carbon market, so there is no incentive to get rid of CO2, Martin said.

"The cost of CO2 as a commercial product has no dollar value," Martin said. "There needs to be an incentive to place a cost on CO2."

The technique will work when nearby power plants pay oil and gas production companies to eliminate the CO2 emitted from the plant, Martin said. …

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