Regional Assessment of the Econominc Barriers to CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery in the North Sea, Russia and GCCC States
The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is a well established commercial practice in the United States where it has been used for over 40 years. There is widespread potential for CO2-EOR in other mature petroleum producing regions. If CO2-EOR could be implemented it would offer an economic stimulus to develop CO2 storage. There are, however, a number of barriers, not least the installation of infrastructure and modifications that would be necessary to supply CO2 and inject it into target reservoirs. This study has looked at the challenges faced by the prospect of CO2-EOR in three regions: the North Sea; Russia; and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states which is a regional political organisation comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the technical challenges the study included two hypothetical examples, one based on the North Sea and the other in a GCC state, to explore what economic conditions would be necessary for CO2-EOR to be implemented. The most significant factor that influences of CO2-EOR uptake is the prevailing price of oil. The injection rate, capital expenditure (CAPEX), operational costs (OPEX) and tax incentives are of secondary importance. Despite the challenges posed by this form of EOR there is growing interest in its use in Saudi Arabia where and Saudi Aramco launched the Uthmaniyah CO2 EOR demonstration project in July 2015. There are also plans for CO2-EOR in China for a potential project offshore Guangdong Province.