MIDLAND, Mich. (PRNewswire) — The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW ) and Denbury Onshore, LLC announced today that the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to capture by-product carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas (GHG), from Dow's ethylene oxide (EO) plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana. The project with Denbury is capital and cost-efficient for Dow and will significantly contribute to Dow's annual GHG reduction goal.
"Dow has publicly stated that by 2015, we will reduce GHG emissions by 2.5 percent per year per pound of product. This is the kind of technology and collaboration it will take to continue to make progress against our sustainability scorecard," said Dave Kepler, Dow chief sustainability officer.
By-product CO2 from the EO plant would be provided via pipeline for use in Denbury's enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. EOR operations are designed to economically recover additional crude oil from fields where primary and secondary production methods have run their course.
"Denbury has been working with various potential sources of anthropogenic CO2 along the Green Pipeline for the last couple of years and we are looking forward to completing the engineering design and ultimately receiving the first volumes of anthropogenic CO2 from Dow's EO facility," said Tracy Evans, president and chief operating officer, Denbury Resources, Inc.
The majority of the CO2 utilized for EOR operations presently comes from natural, underground geological domes where relatively pure CO2 can be found at high pressure. These domes are rare and found only in a few regions of the U.S. and other countries. This has previously limited the development of CO2 EOR projects to regions that contain natural CO2 reserves.
"This agreement provides resounding proof of Dow's commitment to achieving our 2015 sustainability goals and to creating partnerships that will help identify and develop new solutions to address the challenges of energy and climate change," said Doug May, Dow vice president, Energy & Climate Change.
Denbury would transport the CO2 stream from Dow's EO plant via its 320-mile "green" pipeline, which is targeted for completion in 2010. The 320-mile pipeline will run from Donaldsonville, Louisiana to the Hastings Oil Field, south of Houston, Texas and is designed to transport CO2 from natural sources as well as industrial supplies of CO2. Dow would be the first industrial CO2 supplier to the new pipeline.
The CO2 capture project in Plaquemine, Louisiana is expected to be operational in mid-2011. Additional opportunities for future CO2 capture are being examined at several Dow sites.