2006 Steeneveldt CO2 Capture and Storage – Closing the Knowing – Doing Gap

The capture and storage of CO2 is gaining attention as an option for limiting CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels. CO2 capture is premised on the safe long-term storage of CO2 in geological formations. Naturally occurring CO2 is used for enhanced oil recovery in the USA, Trinidad, Turkey, Hungary, Brazil and Croatia. Industrially produced CO2 has been used for enhanced oil recovery at the Rangely field in Colorado, USA since 1986 and at the Weyburn field in Saskatchewan, Canada since 2000. Large-scale CO2 storage in geological formations to avoid CO2 emissions was first undertaken offshore in Norway in 1996 and onshore in Algeria in 2004. CO2 delivered for EOR in the USA averaged around USD 11/tonne CO2 during the 1990s. The cost of CO2 capture from low concentration industrial sources varies with a number of factors, but will certainly be very much higher than the recovery of naturally-occurring CO2. Adequate knowledge exists in the oil and gas industry for the application of CO2 capture and storage. Widespread implementation of fully-integrated CO2 value chains will nonetheless depend on achieving public acceptance and regulatory approval for CO2 storage, cost reduction for CO2 capture and sufficient economic incentives for the key actors involved. This article discusses the most important research directions for CO2 capture and storage projects that have been initiated around the world. The adequacy of economic incentives will strongly influence how quickly producers and users of fossil fuels are able to close the knowing-doing gap for CO2 capture and storage.

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