The time has come to activate the carbon dioxide (CO2) market. Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) with CO2 injection will kick-start carbon capture and storage (CCS) and lead the way forward for the CO2 market.
The dramatic change in the pricing in the oil and gas industry in parallel to the global agreement to fight climate change creates a fundamental new basis for a CO2 market. EOR brings the business case to CCS and vice versa. The funding for CCS will come from solid buyers that are willing to pay for a constant flow of CO2 to increase the production of oil, at low risk.
The history of EOR speaks for itself. It has been going on in some states of the US for over 30 years and the Weyburn project in Canada, for example, is very public with its great results. EOR utilising CO2 is a great opportunity for oil companies in a world where crude oil is priced at around $50 per barrel. As EOR with CO2 applies to existing fields already available with extensive reservoir data, the risk is very low. The additional cost to verify if the field will produce more with CO2 EOR injection is limited. Each field is different so there is a need to perform a thorough well analysis and, thereafter, a test to determine whether the actual crude is miscible at reservoir pressure and temperature.
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