What We Do

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Reserves
Denbury is focused on revitalizing America’s mature oil fields with carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (“CO2 EOR”), bringing new life and energy from these fields to provide oil for our nation for decades to come. CO2 EOR provides an economic and technically feasible method of utilizing CO2 provided by industrial facilities, that also results in associated underground storage incidental to hydrocarbon recovery, reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and making our nation more energy secure.

OUR CO2 STORY

Denbury is unique among domestic oil and gas companies because our primary corporate strategy and focus is on developing significant and otherwise stranded reserves of American oil from depleted reservoirs through carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (“CO2 EOR”).

In many U.S. oil fields, it is estimated that only about 30% to 40% of the original oil in place (“OOIP”) is recoverable through primary and secondary methods. Our experience has shown that CO2 EOR can recover another 10% to 20% of the OOIP. While the technology used in CO2 EOR may not be considered new, we apply several concepts learned over time to improve and increase CO2 utilization efficiency within the reservoirs. For example, we are focused on using CO2 more efficiently in our operations which allows us to decrease the amount of naturally-occurring CO2 injected in our operations, thereby increasing the proportion of industrial-sourced CO2 utilized in EOR. Implementing this strategy improves the economics of the process and makes CO2 EOR operations economically viable on a wider scale, even in a lower oil price environment.

We began our CO2 EOR operations in 1999 when we acquired Little Creek Field in Mississippi, followed by our acquisition of Jackson Dome CO2 reserves and the Northeast Jackson Dome (“NEJD”) Pipeline in 2001. Based upon our success at Little Creek and the ownership of significant CO2 reserves at Jackson Dome, we began to transition our capital spending and acquisition efforts to focus predominantly on CO2 EOR. Today, our asset base primarily consists of current CO2 EOR projects, future CO2 EOR projects and assets that produce, process and transport much of the CO2 that we use.

Our oil and natural gas properties are concentrated in the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.

   

THE STAGES OF OIL RECOVERY

For many years, oil has been produced from the earth using a variety of different production techniques, typically occurring in three phases: primary, secondary and tertiary oil recovery, also known as enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”). Primary oil recovery is limited to hydrocarbons that naturally rise to the surface, or those that use artificial lift devices, such as pump jacks. In secondary production, water is typically injected to re-pressure the target formation, providing energy and mobility to sweep the remaining recoverable liquids to the wellbore for recovery. Utilizing only primary and secondary recovery methods can leave up to 70% of the original oil in place (“OOIP”).

Tertiary production occurs after both primary and secondary recovery production is complete. This phase of production requires a catalyst that will interact with the stranded oil so that it will flow through the rock reservoir to the wellbore. Pressurized CO2 injection is a proven EOR technique and can recover, on average, an additional 10% to 20% of the OOIP.

In 2015 CO2 EOR accounted for approximately 3% of average U.S. daily production, or approximately 280,000 barrels of oil per day (“BOPD”) or over 100 million barrels per year. CO2 transportation pipelines currently cover over 5,000 miles and are a small fraction of the U.S. natural gas pipeline network. CO2 EOR projects have been in commercial operation since the 1970's and enjoy an impressive record of safely and securely injecting more than an estimated 1 billion metric tons (one gigatonne) of CO2 since 1984. On average it is estimated that the industry injects 63-68 million metric tons of CO2 per year for EOR production operations.

EOR Can Deliver Almost as Much Oil as Primary and Secondary Recovery(1)

Based on original oil in place at Denbury’s Little Creek Field.

OUR CO2 EOR PROCESS*

STEP 1: CO2 Sources and Capture

The first step in implementing a carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (“CO2 EOR”) project is to secure access to substantial volumes of CO2. Denbury sources CO2 both from naturally-occurring underground reservoirs and from industrial sources which capture, process and then compress the CO2 for delivery into a pipeline network. The CO2 captured from industrial sources (which is sometimes referred to as anthropogenic or man-made CO2) could otherwise be released into the atmosphere. For our Gulf Coast assets, Denbury sources naturally-occurring CO2 from Jackson Dome in Mississippi and industrial CO2 from two facilities: one in Port Arthur, Texas and one in Geismar, Louisiana. For our Rocky Mountain region, Denbury sources CO2 from the Lost Cabin gas plant and the Shute Creek plant in Wyoming.

STEP 2: CO2 Transportation

Our CO2 EOR operations provide an environmentally responsible method of utilizing CO2 for the primary purpose of oil recovery that also results in the incidental underground storage of CO2 while also making our nation more energy secure.

The second step is transporting the CO2 from the source to the oil field. We operate or control over 1,100 miles of CO2 pipelines and are continually expanding this network to transport naturally-occurring CO2 and CO2 from industrial sources to our tertiary fields. Between 2014 and 2016 we utilized an average of more than 135 million cubic feet of CO2 from industrial sources per day and anticipate additional CO2 from industrial sources from currently planned or future construction of facilities in our Gulf Coast region.

STEP 3: CO2 Injection

The third step is to inject the CO2 into the oil-bearing reservoir through a wellbore. The injected CO2 moves through the reservoir, mixing with the crude oil trapped there. The CO2 acts to separate the oil from the reservoir rock and increase the oil’s mobility within the reservoir. The mixture is driven through the formation into a producing wellbore, where it then comes to the surface, increasing the field’s oil production. To date, our CO2 EOR operations have resulted in the gross production of over 135 million barrels of oil that may not have otherwise been recovered.

STEP 4: CO2 EOR Benefits & Storage

CO2 EOR operations provide considerable economic and environmental benefits. The economic benefits of CO2 EOR include the creation of jobs due to large cash investments required to implement and operate a CO2 EOR project, along with tax payments to local governments. Our CO2 EOR operations provide an environmentally responsible method of utilizing CO2 for the primary purpose of oil recovery that also results in the incidental underground storage of CO2 while also making our nation more energy secure.

* In this section any references to “Denbury,” “our” or “we” refers to Denbury Onshore, LLC, or in case of references to CO2 pipeline infrastructure, an affiliate of Denbury Onshore, LLC.

USE OF CO2 FROM INDUSTRIAL SOURCES*

Starting in late 2012, we began purchasing and utilizing CO2 from industrial sources in our tertiary operations in the Gulf Coast region. These projects illustrate our unique ability to use captured CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

Denbury is currently party to several contracts to purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources (CO2 from these sources is also known as anthropogenic or man-made CO2) to use in our enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. We have contracts to purchase CO2 from an industrial facility in Port Arthur, Texas, an ammonia plant in Geismar, Louisiana and the Lost Cabin Gas Plant in Wyoming. Between 2014 and 2016, these three sources supplied over 85 MMcf/d of CO2 for our EOR operations. Denbury also owns an interest in the CO2 at LaBarge Field in Wyoming, which is captured from the Shute Creek Plant. The CO2 captured from these industrial sources could otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Additionally, we are working to take deliveries from a coal-fired power plant in Mississippi and are in ongoing discussions with other parties who have plans to construct plants near the Green Pipeline.

We continue to have ongoing discussions with owners of existing plants of various types that emit CO2 that we may be able to purchase and/or transport. In order to capture such volumes, we (or the plant owner) would need to install additional equipment, which includes, at a minimum, compression and dehydration facilities. Most of these existing plants emit relatively small volumes of CO2, generally less than our contracted sources, but such volumes may be attractive if the source is located near CO2 pipelines. The capture of CO2 could also be influenced by potential federal legislation, which could impose economic penalties for atmospheric CO2 emissions. We believe that we are a likely purchaser of CO2 captured in our areas of operation because of the scale of our tertiary operations and our CO2 pipeline infrastructure.

*In this section any references to “Denbury,” “our” or “we” refers to Denbury Onshore, LLC, or in case of references to CO2 pipeline infrastructure, an affiliate of Denbury Onshore, LLC.

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