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Possibility and Potential of CO2 Enhanced Shale Gas Recovery in the Ordos Basin

Organisation: China University of Geosciences & Tsinghua University


  • To assess the feasibility, potential and suitability of applying ESGR in the Ordos Basin by studying the interaction between CO2 and shale formations, taking into account the geological conditions of the basin
  • To provide a basis to assist government policy makers and industry investors

Activity Description

  • Task 1: Test the shale formation's absorption equilibrium and kinetic parameters for COand methane, and examine the coefficient variations of the shale formation's expansion, deformation and permeability after absorption. This will provide the theoretical model and parameters for the absorption-seepage-mechanical coupling process for numerical simulation. The influence of water is excluded in this study.
  • Task 2: Monitor the difference in shale gas production between ESGR and simple extraction. Develop numerical simulation for ESGR, verify the accuracy of the theoretical model and predict the efficiency of ESGR and COstorage.
  • Task 3: Establish a representative geological and engineering model based on the Ordos Basin's geological conditions. Through numerical simulation, study the potential increase in shale gas production by ESGR compared to simple extraction, and demonstrate the efficiency of COstorage.
  • Task 4: Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of ESGR, taking into account technology, economic, safety and environment. Assess the potential environmental risk of COgeological storage, evaluate the accuracy of COgeological storage capacity, and estimate the time required for ESGR to be a mature technology in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Also discuss the possibility of applying ESGR in the Ordos Basin.
  • Task 5: Establish a preliminary assessment of the potential for ESGR, and the feasibility of COgeological storage in the Ordos Basin.
  • Task 6: Review and summarise the techniques in shale gas development, including hydraulic fracturing using COas a fracturing fluid.
  • Task 7: Evaluate the current status of COfracturing and compare it to traditional hydraulic fracturing, in terms of waste water and pollution, GHG emissions, and economic benefits. Also analyse the potential risk, such as GHG (including COand methane) leakage, soil and water pollution and other possible risks.
  • Task 8: Establish an assessment method for CO2 utilisation in ESGR and geological storage capacity, taking into account the COstored during the desorption methane process, the COutilised as a fracturing fluid instead of water, and the reduced methane emissions by using CO2 as a fracturing fluid in the process of well completion.

Expected Outcome

  • Investigate the interaction mechanism between COand the shale formations, establish a comprehensive survey of ESGR, and evaluate the potential for ESGR.
  • Produce a report on the feasibility and potential for ESGR in the Ordos Basin.
  • Publish one to three academic papers in peer-reviewed journals.