- Clean Technology
- Clean Energy
- Our Clean Technology Portfolio
- FAQ – Clean Technology
Coal, oil and natural gas will remain a crucial part of the world's energy landscape for the foreseeable future. Innovative technologies are key to ensuring that these fossil fuels are recovered efficiently and consumed with minimal environmental impact.
Industrial gases such as nitrogen play a central role in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). In this procedure, nitrogen (N2) is pumped underground with high pressure. This N2 injection increases the pressure in the oil wells so that fossil resources can be more easily recovered and yields significantly improved.
Separating air to obtain raw materials
This technology has already helped make the Cantarell oil field on the Gulf of Mexico more efficient. Cantarell is one of the world's largest oil fields that is located in the sea. At the same time, it is Mexico's most important crude oil supplier. Circa one third of Mexico's total production output of crude oil comes from this oil field.
To raise the pressure in this field and thus ensure the flow of oil, large amounts of nitrogen must be pumped in. The gas comes from atmospheric air and is created with five Linde air separators. In the first year, the flow rate rose by 60 percent after nitrogen was pumped in. And some experts even say that in some years, the oil reserves here may be completely exhausted. The air separation plant designed by Linde contributes to postponing this point as far out into the future as possible.
In recent year, Linde has designed and built some of the world's most important air separation plants in order to produce the great amounts of nitrogen needed for this type of recovery. The technology can be summarized in one sentence: "Separating air to obtain raw materials".
At a glance
Description - Air separation plant for generating nitrogen
Site - Cantarell/Mexico
Raw material - Crude Oil
Process technology - Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)
Cooperation - Petroleos Mexicanos Coportivo (Pemex)