National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery and Associated Carbon Dioxide Retention Resources - Results

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Abstract

In 2020, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed a probabilistic assessment of the volume of technically recoverable oil resources available if current carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) technologies were applied to amenable oil reservoirs underlying the onshore and State waters areas of the conterminous United States. The assessment also includes estimates of the mass of CO2that could be stored (retained) as a result of CO2-EOR activities. The USGS assessment team evaluated more than 3,500 oil reservoirs that were miscible to injected CO2. The assessed reservoirs are in 185 previously defined USGS plays in 33 petroleum provinces of 7 national regions. The assessment team estimated that the technically recoverable oil associated with CO2-EOR ranges from approximately 25,000 million barrels (MMbbl) at the P5percentile to as much as 32,000 MMbbl at the P95percentile, with a mean of 29,000 MMbbl. The associated CO2retention ranges from approximately 7,400 million metric tons (Mt) at the P5percentile to as much as 9,500 Mt at the P95percentile, with a mean of 8,400 Mt. The West Texas and Eastern New Mexico region and the Gulf Coast region together contain 60 percent of the mean assessed CO2-EOR oil potential and 61 percent of the mean assessed CO2retention. Other regions with significant resource potential include the Midcontinent region and Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains region.

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Warwick, P. D., Attanasi, E. D., Blondes, M. S., Brennan, S. T., Buursink, M. L., Cahan, S. M., … Varela, B. A. (2022). National Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery and Associated Carbon Dioxide Retention Resources - Results. US Geological Survey Circular, (1489), 1–39. https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1489

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