The Barrel Blog | Bob Williams, Director of Content | February 12, 2018
As counter intuitive as it may sound to those who want to transition away from fossil energy to combat climate change, the US government has long supported research into technology that could potentially slow or even halt the growth of industrial carbon emissions while expanding the recovery of oil from existing fields.
Many in the oil industry support the concept—and have been implementing commercial projects based on it for decades, in the US and abroad.
In using this technology to enhance the recovery of oil (EOR), the oil industry has developed an extensive know-how for capturing, permanently storing, and monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2).
Additionally, a US government-backed research initiative has identified scores of underground receptacles nationwide that have the collective capacity for permanently storing, or sequestering massive volumes of CO2 captured from industrial sources—better known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The question arises anew because of shifting political winds in Washington. The administration of President Donald Trump is a strong advocate of fossil energy and wants to see more production of oil and natural gas and coal—rather than accelerating the nation’s transition away from these fuels and to renewable energy sources. Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount worldwide for the US to resume a leadership role in curbing greenhouse gas emissions in order to tackle climate change.
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