Storage through CO2-EOR

Download the IEA publication Storing CO2 through Enhanced Oil Recovery

Injecting CO2 into oil reservoirs to enhance oil production has been practiced on a commercial scale for more than 40 years.  Over the lifetime of an CO2-EOR operation, virtually all of the CO2 that is injected remains contained in the oil reservoir.  Because of this feature CO2-EOR allows reaping the economic benefits of  enhancing oil production while reducing  anthropogenic  CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.  Even though the technology could be  deployed globally, there are currently hardly any CO2-EOR projects outside of the United States. The majority of the US projects were established during the 1970s for the purpose of bolstering domestic oil production.   

ccs recuperation

Current IEA  work examines the role CO2-based enhanced oil recovery could play within efforts to reduce emissions to the atmosphere through capture and long-term geologic storage of CO2. The role of CO2–EOR to serve the dual purpose of enhancing oil recovery and maximising  COstorage is explored on the basis of  different assumptions underpinning the operation of  CO2-EOR projects.  Not only conventional business-as-usual CO2-EOR  practices but also novel practices that aim to co-optimise oil revenue and storage are  part of the analysis.  The IEA works to provide answers to the  following questions:

  • What is the technical and economic potential of CO2-EOR to enhance oil production and provide for CO2 storage?
  • What are the barriers that need to be overcome and which policy options are available to promote CO2-EOR as a storage option?