• 5 minutes 'No - Deal Brexit' vs 'Operation Fear' Globalist Pushback ... Impact to World Economies and Oil
  • 8 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 12 minutes Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 1 hour China has invested btw $30 - $40 Billon in Canadian Oil Sands. Trump should put 10% tariffs on all Chinese oil exported into or thru U.S. in which Chinese companies have invested .
  • 3 hours It's Not the Job of the Government to Dictate Where Businesses Should Go
  • 12 hours Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 3 hours Offshore subsea sub 50$/bbl : Rystad Energy: High stakes in store for subsea markets if oil falls to $50/bbl
  • 19 mins Tit For Tat: China Strikes Back In Trade Dispute With U.S. With New Tariffs
  • 39 mins US Shale Economic Impact: GDP gain realized in shale boom’s first 10 years
  • 1 day Iran Is Winning Big In The Middle East
  • 1 day IS ANOTHER MIDDLE EAST WAR REQUIRED TO BOLSTER THE OIL PRICE
  • 22 hours Strong, the Strongest: Audi To Join Mercedes, BMW Development Alliance
  • 22 hours Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 7 hours Philadelphia Energy Solutions seeks to permanently shut oil refinery - sources
  • 7 hours TRUMP'S FORMER 'CHRISTIAN LIAISON' SAYS DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER WAS GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR OBAMA ISRAEL DIVISION
  • 8 hours US to Drown the World in Oil
Jen Alic

Jen Alic

 

More Info

Premium Content

Solar and Big Oil Join Forces in Middle East

Solar technology can use heat from the sun to extract heavy crude from aging fields—and the idea is gaining ground and investment from big oil companies like Shell.

Last week, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA), RockPort Capital and a few others invested a total of $26 million in California-based GlassPoint Solar Inc. The investment will spur the company’s expansion in the Middle East--and it’s all about crude oil extraction.

What the energy majors are eyeing in particular is GlassPoint’s Enclosed Trough Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process. In less acronymic terms, it is technology that uses solar to tap into wells that have already been “played out” but in which at least one-third of their potential heavy oil is not recoverable by conventional drilling and pumping means.

Related Article: Is the US in the Middle of a Solar Boom?

Typically, tapping into “played out” wells is done by using natural gas to boil water into pressurized steam to flood the well and make the oil more fluid for pumping.

And recent studies show that solar EOR may be better than natural gas EOR. Specifically, solar EOR can produce 16% more oil from a played-out well than natural gas processes—and there is no fuel cost. So the process works better and is more economically viable.

GlassPoint, though, is not the pioneer of this technology. ARCO came up with it in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t cost-effective. But since then, BrightSource Energy (BSE) has taken the technology to new heights and taps into aging wells for Chevron (NYSE:CVX) in the Coalinga oil field. BSE has spent $67.3 million on this project, which began in earnest last year.

Related Article: Long-Term Oil Forecasts - Merely Guesses

GlassPoint already has a 300 kilowatt solar EOR project in Kern County, California, and another project close to completion in an oil field south of Oman. It is now seeking to expand to Kuwait and Bahrain where its technology will reduce oil production costs. GlassPoint also notes that this technology will save on gas used in the Middle East to produce oil. That gas can instead be exported.

Along with Shell and RockPort, Nth Power, and Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital also chipped in for the GlassPoint investment.

The lesson in all of this: There is a confluence of interests between the fossil fuel big boys and renewable energy—who are anything but eternal enemies. When you can calculate that renewable energy can improve big oil’s bottom line, that’s when you’re half way to a feasible energy future.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play