Senators launch national EOR initiative

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, July 13 -- North Dakota’s two US senators kicked off the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative, which they described as a comprehensive effort to increase US oil production while sequestering carbon dioxide, at a July 12 press conference with oil industry executives, state officials, and technical experts.

Kent Conrad, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, and John Hoeven, a Republican serving his first term after 10 years as North Dakota’s governor, noted that the state already has one of the world’s only commercial-scale carbon sequestration operations, and has become the nation’s fourth-largest oil producer.

Conrad said the US has tens of billions of barrels of oil left in existing oil fields. The US Department of Energy estimates that standard recovery techniques may leave 60-80% of the original oil in place, he said. More use of carbon dioxide for EOR could double oil recovery efficiency, Conrad suggested.

“EOR techniques could help our nation produce an additional 3 million b/d, representing one third of current US petroleum imports,” added Hoeven, who is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

They said the 30-member group, which is being facilitated by the Great Plains Institute and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, will develop recommendations for federal and state policymakers by early 2012.

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