Carbon dioxide is used for forced extraction of depleted oil and natural gas resources. When captured and stored underground, it can help control emissions from electrical generation. Harsh Pershad is with Element Energy in the UK:
"At the moment, carbon dioxide (is) used by the oil industry to push out extra oil from oil reservoirs where the pressure's getting low. Separately, there's a huge debate as to how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and heavy industry. A lot of these power stations produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide every year. At the moment, that all goes straight up into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and ocean acidification."
The geographic clustering of European power plants and North Sea oilfields offers opportunities to develop transport and storage networks.
"The challenge is actually going to be one of getting the regulations and the economics right so that if you're a power plant owner, you do have the incentive to develop that carbon capture equipment that could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of your plant. You have to take the risk, also, in developing a pipeline to a potential storage site or perhaps as part of a network, in which case you might need to agree (to) standards and routines with a lot of other people."
The Carbon Capture Workshop at the Omni Woodway Hotel is a chance for Houston companies to hear about carbon management strategies, which are being developed in different ways in Europe than in North America.