Bureau of Economic Geology

Exploring the potential of carbon capture and storage-enhanced oil recovery as a mitigation strategy in the Colombian oil industry

Edgar Yáñez, Andrea Ramírez, Vanessa Núñez-López, Edgar Castillo, André Faaij

International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2019.102938

Figure 1. CO2 emissions from various industrial sectors in Colombia from 1990 to 2012.
Study Summary

The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) is a promising alternative for reducing the cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS). In this study, the technoeconomic potential of integrated CCS-EOR projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Colombian oil industry is estimated. For this purpose, a source–sink matching process is carried out, including CO2 capture potentials in sources from the petroleum, cement, power generation, and bioethanol industries, as well as from CO2 storage in oil fields suitable for EOR. The results indicate that a total of 142 million tons of carbon dioxide (tCO2) could be stored and would deliver 465 million barrels through five CCS-EOR projects in four clusters identified around the country. The levelized cost for capture ranged between 12 and 209 Euros (€) per tCO2, the cost of CO2 during EOR operations ranged between 24 and 59 €/tCO2, and finally, the cost of CO2 transport ranged from 1 to 23 €/tCO2. The CO2 mitigation potential of CCS-EOR represents 25 percent of forecasted oil industry emissions in Colombia for the period 2025–2040. Compared with the intended nationally determined contribution target set by the Colombian government, CCS-EOR projects could contribute 7 percent of the total accumulated emissions reductions by 2040.


Why is this research important and why do the results matter?
  • The country of Colombia accounts for 0.4 percent of global emissions but is committed to reduce their contribution by 20 percent by 2030.
  • Besides the transport sector, the power generation, oil, and cement industries in Colombia emit the most CO2 and can be considered as potential sources of CO2 for EOR projects in Colombia.
  • CO2-EOR is an attractive option to reduce emissions, as it allows for the use and storage of captured CO2 while maintaining oil production. Under the proposed scenarios, the study found that CCS-EOR projects could mitigate 24 percent of the CO2 emissions for the oil sector in 2030, mitigating between 6 percent and 7 percent of the total accumulated emissions by 2040.