The purpose of this report is to identify the technologies and operating practices that have been developed by the oil and gas industry for injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). These technologies and practices have been developed specifically for use in CO2 EOR; however, due to anticipated similarities in operating conditions, it is thought that the oil and gas industry's experiences and learnings may be of value in considering the injection of carbon dioxide for the purpose of geologic storage.
Capture and geologic storage of carbon dioxide (carbon capture and storage or CCS) is seen as a potentially viable near term approach for mitigating global carbon emissions provided significant legal, regulatory, and technical obstacles are addressed. Geologic storage involves injection of CO2 into underground formations. Once placed there, the expectation is that the CO2 will stay there indefinitely, thus removing it from the atmosphere.
Geologic storage on the scale that is thought to be necessary will require huge new investments in equipment and infrastructure. Some estimates suggest that the amount of infrastructure necessary to perform geologic storage on a meaningful level is equivalent to the existing worldwide infrastructure associated with current oil and gas production. This includes gas treatment facilities for CO2 capture, pipelines and compression equipment for transportation, and more compression equipment, distribution lines, flowlines and wells for injection. Because of the magnitude of investment that may be made, it is also vitally important that any legal and regulatory infrastructure that is developed encourage safe, efficient, and environmentally sound geologic storage projects that balance costs and benefits.