Air Liquide Canada has announced its program to promote CO2-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects in Western Canada.

Experts agree that extracting just one per cent more oil from Alberta's conventional reserves would add roughly 600 million barrels to the province's annual production rate.

One pilot project intends to boost oil production rates from the Swan Hills reservoir. Using an injection skid on the surface, Air Liquide will inject liquid CO2 into the reservoir to improve the fluidity of the oil, making it easier to force the oil to the producing wells.

The company said: \\$quot;It is the first phase of a potentially large-scale project, unique in Alberta, combining EOR and CO2 sequestration at extreme depths and temperatures. A successful trial would mean this project could be the forerunner to the construction of a long-term supply solution in the area.\\$quot;

Dave LeBlanc, vice president of Process Industries at Air Liquide Canada said: 'This significant program is an important step towards developing the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in Alberta.

'This application has been successfully implemented in over seventy projects worldwide. It is a viable commercial method to improve the recovery of oil and can play a key role in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.'