Weyburn has been established as a central figure for the upstream oil industry in the province. Through investment in pioneering research projects and leading edge oil extraction technology, Weyburn based companies continue to advance innovation and development in the industry. The City’s youthful professional culture and educate workforce has made Weyburn an attractive locale for many national and local industry headquarters and a strategic location for industry service.
Weyburn sits geographically atop the Bakken Oil Formation. The Bakken formation is one of the most prolific oil producing patches in the world. With new technology driving the industry, these once unattainable oil reserves are now fueling economic growth int he region. Weyburn based companies are some of the largest investors int he Canadian Bakken play.
Carbon dioxide capture and storage is considered a critical technology to reduce world greenhouse gas emissions. Currently in the Weyburn region there are two commercial carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery projects operated by Whitecap Resources and by Cardinal Energy ltd.; the projects involve the capture of carbon dioxide and subsequent injection into underground rock formations.
Whitecap Resources Inc.
Whitecap Resource’s enhanced oil production near Weyburn, Saskatchewan has captured global attention by being the world’s largest underground geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage project.
Whitecap operates the 210 square kilometre Weyburn Unit in southeastern Saskatchewan, a short 30-minute drive south of the city of Weyburn, and currently employs 59 direct employees. The Weyburn Unit contains one of the largest medium-sour crude oil reservoirs in Canada, with approximately 1.4 billion barrels of oil in place when it was discovered in 1954.
Whitecap’s Weyburn field has benefited from a series of innovative developments that have been applied to coax more oil from the reservoir. These technologies have significantly increased the amount of oil recovered, extended the productive life of the maturing field as well as safely sequestered more than 30 million tonnes of CO2 deep underground. That’s equivalent to taking more than six million cars off the road for an entire year.
Today, the Weyburn field is one of Canada’s largest enhanced oil recovery operations and the site of the largest geological greenhouse gas sequestration project in the world. The CO2 flood is expected to extend the life of the Weyburn field by about 30 years and possibly longer with improved technology.
Weyburn shows that geological CO2 injection for enhanced oil recovery is an important technology because it maximizes recovery of already limited oil reserves while reducing greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.