Enhanced Oil Recovery

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves capturing CO2 from industrial or power sector point sources and transporting it to a geological storage site, such as a depleted gas or oil reservoirs. The technical and economic feasibility of CCS remain challenging and at great financial costs,not least in the UK due to the high transportation costs of taking CO2 from power and industry sources on the mainland to oil field sinks in the North Sea. Our initial report, Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment, evaluated power generation in the UK and assessed the performance of the introduction of CCS technologies across three UK power generation sectors: solid fuel, integrated gas combined cycle and natural gas combined cycle.

On further analysis, there are a number of potential options to improve the economics of CCS, one of those being through extending the life of the oil field assets and extending tax income from additional production. These options can feasibly be further enhanced by locating sites with closer source and sink proximity, thus reducing the transport costs. Our second report Opportunities for Early Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage Development in China, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Beijing reviewed the options of utilising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by matching high purity industrial CO2 sources and EOR sinks in Shaanxi Province, China. The subsequent report identified gaps and barriers specific to industrial CCUS, inventories of high-purity industrial CO2 sources and EOR potential and potential pilot projects in the region.

Required CO2 capture by major countries and regions up to 2050.

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