Refining unrefined technology – How Carbon Capture can give petroleum a second chance

As has technology has improved so has the potential for increasing the sustainability of non-renewable energy resources.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a way of reducing carbon emissions. It involves a three-step process,

1. Capturing the carbon dioxide produced by industrial activity,

2. Transporting it, and

3. Storing it.

Occidental Petroleum is one of the pioneers of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). EOR is heralded as a form of CCS, however it is slightly different in form and function. Carbon Dioxide that is captured is instead injected into brownfield oil wells in order to increase flow and yield of crude oil. The Carbon Dioxide is effectively captured and turned into new petroleum products that will eventually make their way back into this carbon capture loop.

While not as attractive as other renewable energy resources, this technique has the ability to create “Carbon-Neutral” or even “Carbon-Negative” feedstocks.

The current availability of solar, hydrogen, and wind cannot meet the current demand needed to replace traditional fossil fuels today. New technologies and improvements to the existing energy industry should be embraced as an effective Segway towards clean energy alternatives.

To learn more about Carbon Capture and Enhanced Oil Recover please visit some of the sources below.

What is Carbon Capture and Storage?

https://www.nationalgrid.com/stories/energy-explained/what-is-ccs-how-does-it-work

Can CO2-EOR really provide carbon-negative oil?

https://www.iea.org/commentaries/can-co2-eor-really-provide-carbon-negative-oil

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