Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., has launched a demonstration project designed to test the viability of using solar energy to produce oil.
The project, located at the Coalinga Field in Fresno, Calif., uses over 7,600 mirrors to focus the sun's energy onto a solar boiler, and the steam produced is injected into oil reservoirs to increase oil production. The project is the largest of its kind in the world, according to Chevron Technology Ventures.
‘This technology has the potential to augment gas-powered steam generation and may provide an additional resource in areas of the world where natural gas is expensive or not readily available,’ says Desmond King, president of Chevron Technology Ventures.
Chevron contracted BrightSource Energy Inc. as the technology provider and for engineering, procurement and construction. The project will be operated by Chevron Technology Ventures.