Equally important is the answer offered by EOR to two of the most pressing questions in energy policy:What is the future of coal in this country, and what can the federal government do to reduce the risks of climate change? The answer EOR offers is uniquely compelling: Coal stays in our energy mix while almost all of its carbon gets trapped underground.
The key to this opportunity lies in the fact that carbon dioxide is the essential ingredient in enhanced oil recovery operations. And in contrast to EPA’s divisive, expensive, and likely ineffective approach to regulating carbon emissions, EOR would give American companies an opportunity to make money putting carbon dioxide underground while producing oil, making this a wealthier, more productive country with a stronger, more secure energy economy and a cleaner environment.
Drillers have long understood that they leave most of their product in the ground. As oil is pumped, the pressure underground drops and it becomes harder to extract what remains. Typically, only about one-third of the oil in a given location can be economically removed. As a result, many supposedly “depleted” wells actually still contain most of their oil—just waiting for a technology that will make it economical to extract it. LINK