The GSI Gasification Process delivers significant advantages over traditional and proposed ex-situ and in-situ technologies. We believe it constitutes a potential breakthrough both in terms of environmental friendliness as well as production economics that could turn oil shale and tar sands into major sources of global crude oil supply.
GSI’s in-situ gasification technology is a very environmentally friendly process. It has a minimal environmental footprint, requires no water in the production process, does not create any subsurface structural disturbances and actively protects the ground water, generates very few emissions and has the potential to capture and geo-sequester all carbon dioxide produced as well as other sources of CO2.
GSI's in-situ gasification technology is both inherently and by design an environmentally friendly process. The inherent benefits of our technology include:
The disturbance of original production site surfaces is minimal. As an in-situ technology, there are no mining operations and no (significant) external energy source is required. All surface structures have been designed as modular, self-leveling and transportable components. Therefore, in most locations we hope to leave the property in better condition than before we started.
The GSI in-situ gasification technology does not use water in its retorting processes. Water in the combustion gases, kerogen and rock will be recovered and purified as per state and federal regulations. In most cases this makes the GSI process a net water producer.
All process and combustion gases are recovered; liquid products are condensed and gaseous products are cooled and liquefied under pressure except hydrogen, which is compressed.
The GSI process exhibits low well-to-pump Green House Gas emissions that are much lower than other oil shale technologies. There are also significant CO2 geo-sequestration opportunities post production.
In contrast to alternative in-situ technologies, all energy requirements of the GSI process (except for a short start-up period for the first production well) can be met without the need for an external energy supply. A portion of the hydrocarbon gases recovered from the well is sufficient to continuously fuel the heater and onsite generator systems.
We believe that the production cost of oil products generated from the GSI process will be significantly lower than those from traditional oil shale and tar sand production methods. The main reasons are:
The GSI process yields high API light crude, medium and heavy crudes and separated hydrocarbon gases. Unlike products yielded by other production processes, GSI's process acts like a fractionation column making many of the GSI products readily marketable.
Most competing oil shale technologies utilize processes that are limited to recovery from only the thick oil shale rich “Mahogany” zones, often times excluding numerous other layers of rich oil shale at other depths. These other layers can contain more oil shale than the mahogany layer but are not confined to a single zone. The GSI process is not limited to only extracting products from the “Mahogany” zone – it actually allows for recovery from the entire well cylinder cross section. The GSI in-situ gasification technology may gasify and recover products from oil shale deposits as deep as 3,000 feet.
The ratio between energy contained in the effluent mix of products (energy out) and the energy required to gasify the kerogen trapped in the rock (energy in) is expected to be very favorable on the order of 6:1.
The GSI process has very low external energy requirements. Shortly after start-up, the process is self-sustainable in that a portion of the hydrocarbon gases recovered can be used as feed stocks. In addition, the GSI process is highly automated, also contributing to low operating cost.
Several factors contribute to the low capital costs for the GSI Process. The process requires drilling of only one well, whereas alternative in-situ technologies typically require drilling and casing of separate heating and recovery wells. Many elements of the above ground heating, condensing and separator equipment will be shared among several production wells. Finally, with the relatively short recovery period of 3 to 8 years, onsite equipment can be reused reducing capital expenditures for the next set of wells.
Post recovery, the GSI process leaves behind a unique sub-surface environment. Where originally kerogen was cracked and removed, charred pores remain that provide very large surface areas ideally suited for CO2 adsorptive geo-sequestration. The amount of CO2 that can be sequestered in a retired GSI production site is well beyond the amount of CO2 produced by the active well.
Learn more about carbon sequestration from the national energy and technology lab (NETL)