From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (www.beg.utexas.edu).
For more information, please contact the author.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, Dallas, April 18-21, 2004

Developing a Business Plan for Carbon Sequestration in the Gulf Coast

Susan D. Hovorka

Abstract:

The Gulf Coast has a unique concentration of energy and environmental issues. This heavily populated, warm climate, low-relief coast is vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change, including flooding as a result of sea-level rise and increased storm intensity, ozone formation, invasion by topical diseases. The same region has intensive investment in fossil energy production, refining, and consumption for industrial use and to support a growing population.

Geographic coincidence of carbon emission with negative impacts of these emissions will provide regional incentives for development of a business plan for emissions reduction. The new reduced carbon economy has many facets. I focus here on the potential for beneficial use of CO2 to enhance production in hydrocarbon reservoirs in decline. One key issue is matching reservoir enhanced hydrocarbon recovery (EHR) characteristics with volumes and compositions of CO2 production at sources though a timeline that leads eventually to development of a regional pipeline system. Co-location of beneficial use for EHR with disposal in the associated non-productive strata is proposed as a mechanism for sequestering large volumes of anthropogenic carbon.