CALGARY, Alberta – Imagine the energy required to pump oil and water and bring fluids to surface. The net energy received after powering surface lift systems is smaller than laymen might realize. But if gravity could be utilized to assist in the draining of reservoirs, such systems could be obsolete.
GroundLift Energy Services based out of Sylvan Lake may have engineered just such a mechanism.
“What we have come up with is a shallow reservoir tilt / lift operation using carbon dioxide balloons. We use a conventional drill string to drill a horizontal well below the target oil horizon and then insert a large bladder we’ve engineered for extreme loading and strength. We then pump captured carbon dioxide and inflate the balloon until one or all edges of the reservoir are at surface. And the oil just leaks out into collection bins. No pumps necessary yet our models predict recovery factors above 95%.” – Jamie Detoller, CEO GroundLift Technologies
The project will launch in shallow basins to start with, as while reservoirs are drained the uplift will result in temporary massive mountainous regions. First run pilots are slated for Carlyle Saskatchewan and Provost Alberta, where land owners and residents may also benefit from the few years of skiing once the uplifted reservoir form 1-2km tall mountain slopes in prairie areas.
The danger of public use in uplifted regions of course is bladder snap. This is the term for a catastrophic failure of the GroundLift patented lifting system. If that were to fail, the lifted column of rock and soil would fall almost instantly, and with disastrous impacts. Resulting tremors could also damage nearby cities, so the pilot projects will be completed in rural areas where major news outlets won’t be alarmed if something does happen.
Remediation will also be significantly easier than current operations, with a simple deflation of the bladders system the ground will return to its normal elevation once drained completely, requiring no surface remediation at all.
2P News asked about the inflation CO2, and what was done with the that gas upon deflation and GroundLift has plans to simply transfer it from bladder to bladder in what may eventually be names the Prairie Mountains.