The carbon capture industry's focus on enhanced oil recovery has grown because, unlike saline aquifers, it gives captured CO2 a commercial value. Oil companies do not have access to enough CO2 to fully expand, putting the greenhouse gas in demand for them. Some estimates say there is enough capacity with enhanced oil recovery to store about a sixth of the U.S. annual total output of carbon dioxide (ClimateWire, July 13, 2011).
However, many analyses indicate that saline aquifers will have to play a major part in carbon sequestration from coal plants eventually. Many large emission sources are not close to oil patches. The International Energy Agency has said that carbon sequestration should provide 19 percent of emissions reductions by 2050 for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut in half by then.
In an email from Germany, Celia said he was not prepared to comment at this time on needed changes to regulatory structure. "Our main message is that there needs to be broader awareness," he said.
The study was funded with a grant from U.S. EPA, the Carbon Mitigation Initiative at Princeton University and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500