Ecopetrol and its partner Occidental Andina today put into operation a new technological development in the La Cira-Infantas field that reduces CO2 emissions to the environment and eliminates the corrosive elements of production water.
The new infrastructure of the country's oldest field consists of decarbonator towers that remove H2S (hydrogen sulfide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the production waters. CO2 and H2S are encapsulated in solid form in barrels, which are then used as inputs by other industries such as cement.
The new technology will reduce the carbon footprint generated by the operations associated with the maintenance of wells, both direct and indirect, in close to 500 thousand tons per year. This is because the use of materials decreases, fewer activities are carried out and less inputs are acquired for drilling and maintenance. For example, the purchase of pipeline is reduced by about 80 kilometers per year by having to intervene 80 fewer wells in the same period.
The first of the six towers that will be installed between now and the end of 2019, located inside one of the water injection complexes of the field, was put into operation by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Maria Fernanda Su?rez; the President of Ecopetrol, Felipe Bayon; and the President of OXY, Edward Hanley, with the participation of officials of the departmental and municipal administrations, congressmen, industry associations and members of the community of Barrancabermeja and Santander.
The initiative responds to the strategy of the companies to protect the environment and contribute to the welfare of the communities surrounding its operation.
The launching of this new technology occurred during the celebration of the first century of oil in Colombia, whose history began in 1918 in the well Infantas 2, in the corregimiento of El Centro, Barrancabermeja, within the lands that today make up the La Cira field -Infantas.
In addition to the environmental benefits, these towers will improve the reliability of the wells, increase their useful life, reduce corrosion and generate savings of up to US $ 20 million per year.
The construction of the modern infrastructure was the product of an innovative initiative by officials of La Cira-Infantas, who had the support of the Colombian Petroleum Institute (ICP) for its development and its materialization.
Greater production and commitment to water
The La Cira-Infantas Field currently produces 46 thousand barrels per day of oil, mixed with about 600 thousand barrels of water. It is one of the four main fields of production in Colombia and has more than 1,600 active wells, between producers and injectors. The goal for December 31, 2018 is to exceed 50 thousand barrels per day and continue its upward curve to about 70 thousand barrels in 2023.
This field is a model in the management of production waters, since 100% of them are re-injected into the wells, with zero discharges.
In 2018, the field worked on the installation of four new injection trunks to increase production, increased treatment capacity at the stations and advanced the drilling of new wells campaigns in the so-called "Arenas A and B", between other activities.
The Cira-Infantas registered its maximum production in 1939 with close to 64 thousand barrels per day of oil. Subsequently, due to the process of natural decline, the extraction fell to 5 thousand barrels per day at the beginning of the last decade. In 2005, Ecopetrol made an alliance with Occidental Andina to increase production with the application of secondary recovery technologies. This union of the two companies allowed to multiply its production about 10 times and made the Cira-Infantas a global example of recovery of mature fields through water injection technologies.
In the last decade, La Cira-Infantas has invested $ 239 billion in social projects aimed at strengthening local and regional development through initiatives related to drinking water supply, gas, maintenance of roads, eradication of illiteracy, maintenance of infrastructure schools, productive projects and strengthening local businesses, among other programs.