Enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide in the European energy system
Enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide (CO2-EOR) is a method that can increase oil production beyond what is typically achievable using conventional recovery methods by injecting, and hence storing, carbon dioxide (CO2) in the oil reservoir. At present there are no applications of CO2-EOR in Europe, although the technique has been commercialised elsewhere. Major barriers include the availability of low cost CO2 and the high capital and operating costs. This report indicates that the maximum technical potential for increased oil recovery is significant, a significant fraction of the... existing reserves. On the other hand, the CO2 storage capacity is relatively small, when compared to the level of the GHG emissions in the EU. A detailed economic analysis suggests that at the oil prices of today and with a financial incentive for CO2 storage, a number of CO2-EOR operations could be viable in the North Sea. These projects can contribute to the improvement of the European security of supply by increasing indigenous oil production, and assist in the reduction of GHG emissions and catalyse the development of decarbonised energy conversion technologies by providing the means for safe and permanent storage of CO2.