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Even if global natural gas reserves will last longer than oil reserves, all of these sources must be used in the best possible manner. Nitrogen is an important tool for this. It is injected into reservoirs that lie deep under the surface of the earth in order to increase the pressure in these reservoirs, which drops as the extraction period continues. Linde engineers are developing system modules that can be used to increase the recovery quota of fossil fuels in an environmentally sound manner.
Nitrogen as a useful tool
Sophisticated equipment and complex technologies are required to recover natural gas from underground reservoirs. But depending on the geology of these areas, this fuel can never be completely removed. The natural pressure in gas pockets usually limits yield to around 75 percent – and a maximum of 50 percent in the case of oil. But there are methods with which natural gas can still be extracted, even after recovery is quite far along. One useful tool is nitrogen (N2).
According to studies by independent research institutes, nitrogen (N2) or carbon dioxide (CO2) can be used to increase the pressure in oil and gas fields and thus improve the output. This reduces delays or drops in the recovery rate.
At a glance
Operational and energy-efficient air separation units (ASU)
Operation and control of the system under provision of the necessary nitrogen for further compression in oil recovery
Cantarell, Mexico: The world's second largest air separation plant provides nitrogen for enhanced oil recovery (50,000 tpd).
Mirfa, Abu Dhabi (UAE): "Elixir II" (currently under construction): two large air separation plants that are being built in a joint venture with ADNOC for injection into on-shore condensate fields.