Technological Breakthrough Allows for Greater Domestic Oil Production
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy has issued a new report
detailing the contribution that a groundbreaking technique is making on American oil field production—with the promise of much more.
Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2 EOR) uses CO2 to increase the production of oil from existing oil fields. Already, this technology is responsible for 350,000 barrels of oil a day—nearly 6 percent of total U.S. oil production.
“At a time when lawmakers are seeking to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff, increasing energy production and the resulting government revenue, jobs, and economic growth should be at the top of the agenda,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute. “We’ve chosen to highlight Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery because broader usage of this proven technology could be one of the next big things in energy production, bringing trillions in new government revenues to our coffers while reducing oil imports.”
An analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy projects that EOR could economically recover 67 billion barrels of oil, assuming a price of $85 per barrel. That would translate into $1.4 trillion in new government revenue, as well as billions in private investment.
CO2 EOR is used to capture stranded oil that cannot be produced using conventional techniques by injecting pressurized carbon dioxide into a formation to stimulate new oil production. The carbon dioxide traditionally comes from naturally occurring reserves, but future expansion will rely on man-made CO2 produced at industrial facilities.
“CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery is beneficial for domestic energy production and for the environment,” said Harbert. “EOR will increasingly utilize carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere, while generating additional oil production from fields that are in decline. While CO2 EOR shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for new production, it is another valuable tool that should be fully realized in our quest to become more self reliant.”
Currently, state governments regulate oil and gas development on state and private lands, while the federal government has oversight over public lands. In addition, any substance injected in a process like EOR has long been subject to additional regulations set forth by the EPA and administered by state governments.
The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.