July 12, 2011
Members of Congress Support New National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative
Industry, State, NGO Leaders to Develop Recommendations to Improve U.S. Energy Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Industry, government and organizational leaders gathered in Washington, DC, today to launch a national enhanced oil recovery initiative aimed at increasing the supply of domestic oil produced through enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide (CO2-EOR).
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) , Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX) were on hand to help kick off the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (EOR Initiative). Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) offered written statements in support of the initiative.
The EOR Initiative includes executives from oil and gas, electric power, ethanol, pipeline and other industry sectors; state officials; technical experts; and environmental advocates. The group will develop recommendations for federal and state policymakers on how to ramp up CO2-EOR to improve U.S. energy security, create economic opportunities, support high-paying jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The slate of recommendations is expected to be released in early 2012.
“We know where the oil is, we just need the CO2 to help produce it,” said Robert Mannes, President and CEO of Michigan-based Core Energy, LLC . “We are the only company engaged in commercial CO2-EOR in the Great Lakes Region, and we have a limited amount of CO2. With additional supplies of sufficient volumes of CO2 we could produce a significant amount of oil, providing much needed jobs and revenue to local economies.”
The EOR Initiative will marshal support from diverse constituencies for accelerated nationwide expansion of CO2-EOR projects. Commercially proven, safe, and environmentally sound, CO2-EOR stands out as a compelling and largely unheralded example of American private sector technological innovation that can support a wide range of urgent national priorities.
“Carbon capture and sequestration technology combined with enhanced oil recovery addresses our growing demand for energy, the need for sound environmental policy, and provides the kind of economic and energy security that can only come from increased domestic production,” said Texas State Rep. Myra Crownover. “I look forward to working with the other members of this initiative on improving and expanding opportunities for EOR production throughout the United States.”
Reasonable policies to advance CO2-EOR could produce significant amounts of new American oil and advance the development of infrastructure needed for long-term carbon capture and storage. An estimated 35-50 billion barrels  of economically recoverable oil could be produced in the United States using currently available CO2-EOR technologies and practices, or potentially more than twice the country’s proved reserves.
“The fiscal struggles facing federal and state governments combined with a challenging political climate demand new ideas for U.S. energy policy,” said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “The diverse interests represented in this group offer a unique opportunity to secure broad support for sensible policies that increase domestic oil supply and limit emissions – a win for our nation’s economy, security, and the climate.”
In CO2-EOR, carbon dioxide is injected into oil wells to help draw more oil to the surface, while the carbon dioxide remains underground in deep geologic formations. Expanding CO2-EOR will increase domestic production from already developed oil fields, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating economic opportunities.
“EOR has the potential to bring Americans together around a common agenda of energy security, job creation, and environmental stewardship, and overcome the energy policy gridlock that’s putting our nation at risk,” said Brad Crabtree, Policy Director at the Great Plains Institute.
The EOR Initiative is facilitated by the Great Plains Institute  and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change . Financial support for the EOR Initiative is provided by the Joyce Foundation, the Edgerton Foundation and the Energy Foundation. Additional funding is being sought from foundations, industry, and other private-sector sources.
Statements from Members of Congress in support of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative
In addition to remarks delivered today by Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX) at the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative kick-off event in Washington, DC, the following statements of support were issued by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN).
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
“Wyoming has been a leader in the field of enhanced oil recovery (EOR). It’s a valuable part of America’s energy future. I congratulate the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative for its important step forward in this area. Increasing EOR production and advancing technology innovation will help grow our economy in an environmentally responsible way. The good news is that EOR is viable without heavy subsidies or Washington mandates. I look forward to reviewing the Initiative’s work.”
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN)
“Enhanced oil recovery is a win for fiscal responsibility, a win for energy security, and a win for environmental stewardship. I commend members of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative for taking up this opportunity and look forward to reviewing their recommendations. Addiction to foreign oil imperils United States’ national security and makes our economy more vulnerable to conflict, terrorist activity, and natural disasters far outside the United States. My Practical Energy Plan would propel about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day by enabling a truly national infrastructure to connect oil resources with the CO2 necessary to harvest it, including from sources in Indiana, and generate substantial taxpayer returns.”
More information on Senator Lugar’s plan is available at www.lugar.senate.gov/energy .