UK grid electricity carbon intensity can be reduced by enhanced oil recovery with CO2 sequestration

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Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) using CO2 coupled with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can potentially accelerate CO2 storage investment through creation of a large commercial market for EOR . This article assesses how coupled a CCS-EOR scenario might contribute to decarbonization of UK grid electricity. Progressive introduction of 11 CCS-to-EOR gas-power plant projects from 2020 is estimated to store 52 Mt CO2 yr−1 from 2030. These 11 projects produce extra revenue of 1100 MM bbls of taxable EOR oil from 2020 to 2049. After each 20-year EOR project ceases, its infrastructure is paid for, and has many years of life. UK climate change targets would necessitate continued CO2 storage at low cost. Considering all greenhouse gas emissions – from power generation, CCS-EOR operations, and oil production and combustion – this project suite emits an estimated 940–1068 Mt CO2e from 2020 to 2049, while storing 1358 Mt CO2. The total average electricity grid factor in the UK reduces to 90–142 kg CO2e MWh−1, with gas generating 132 TWh yr-1. This life-cycle analysis (LCA) is unusual in linking oil production and combustion with CCS and gas-fueled electricity, yet provides a net carbon reduction, and progressively reduces net oil combustion emissions beyond 2040.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbon Management
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


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