STRIP reduces greenhouse gas emissions in two ways. The first is by utilizing downhole steam generation, which is 100% thermally efficient. This means that unlike conventional technologies, the generated steam does not lose 50% of its heat as it travels hundreds of meters through the well on the way to the oil reservoir. The same heating effects are achieved while using half of the energy.
This effect is augmented through the direct introduction of CO2, a byproduct of STRIP combustion, which itself acts as a solvent.
The second way greenhouse gas is reduced is that the combustion reaction that produces steam occurs downhole. Conventional technologies generate steam above ground in large, gas-fired boilers, venting the produced carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. During STRIP operations, a significant amount of the greenhouse gas emissions remain sequestered in the reservoir. The remaining carbon dioxide that is produced from the reservoir can easily be collected and separated due to its purity—an effect of combustion with pure oxygen and not air. In carbon capture processes that collect emissions from air-based combustion, the carbon dioxide is intermixed with 80% nitrogen, requiring an expensive separation process prior to compression and storage. Carbon dioxide produced from STRIP operations can be compressed and stored without the separation step.
Together, these effects combine to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% as compared to conventional thermal EOR technologies.
Reduced Water Use
STRIP does not use boilers for steam generation, and therefore does not need to treat produced water before it can be run through sensitive machinery. Brackish, produced water is separated, de-oiled and filtered prior to being pumped back down the injection well. This process also reduces energy requirements for water treatment.
Nearly 100% of produced water can be re-used.
Smaller Surface Footprints
Compared to conventional thermal oil recovery technologies, STRIP requires no boilers or extensive water treatment facilities, and therefore features a significantly smaller footprint. This minimizes disruptions to the local environment during production, and greatly reduces the cost and complexity of returning the site to its previous state upon project completion.