SCCS Response to Maximising Economic Recovery of Offshore UK Petroleum: Draft Strategy for Consultation
Haszeldine, R Stuart
There is an inescapable synergy between maximising economic recovery, decommissioning production infrastructure and carbon capture and storage (CCS). There are multiple types of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) which can be applied to particular subsurface oil fields. However, for the UK sector of the North Sea CO2-EOR is the technology with the greatest potential. CO2-EOR involves the injection of liquid CO2 into the mature oil reservoir where, at the subsurface conditions of high temperature and high pressure, it acts as a solvent making the oil less viscous, such that additional quantities can be produced from the oil field. CO2- EOR can be an effective closed cycle system, with CO2 separated from the produced oil and returned to the reservoir for reuse and ultimately for permanent secure storage. SCCS (2015) has shown that the small additional carbon budget necessary for the engineering of offshore CO2-EOR, has no adverse consequence on the embedded carbon reduction budget of onshore electricity generation with CCS to supply millions tonnes of CO2.