Today, we have two markets for the CO2 molecule. First and foremost it can be described as a commodity for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) where it has been used for almost 40 years in the Permian Basin of Texas. CO2 for EOR has been a viable, established and ongoing business model for several companies but faces potential challenges from pending legislation and future regulations by the EPA. Current infrastructure will be discussed and new areas under consideration for expanded EOR operations will be high-lighted.
Secondly, CO2 has been characterized as an “air pollutant” by the U.S. Supreme Court under the Clean Air Act. This ruling creates the potential for major differences in regulatory oversight and will have major consequences in development of a viable economic business model for the sequestration of CO2 outside of its use for EOR. Economic opportunities for geological sequestration are reviewed with respect to the impact pending legislation could have on this emerging business model. Pending legislation can either jump start or create barriers to entry so high that companies will not get involved because of the perceived risks and long term liabilities that accompany sequestration.
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