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Clean Techn Environ Policy (2013) 15:1083–1089

DOI 10.1007/s10098-012-0547-5


An evaluation method of CO2-EOR social benefit

for authoritative incentive policy-making
Xin Meng • Dongkun Luo

Received: 24 March 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published online: 27 October 2012
Ó Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Abstract Carbon capture and storage is one of the contribution of CCS for our mitigation target (IPCC 2005;
methods of CO2 emission reduction. In this method, stor- Koornneef et al. 2008; Pehnt and Henkel 2009), cost of
age in the oil reservoir has been paid more attention for its implementation for distinguishing economic (Davison
benefit from enhancing oil recovery (EOR) while reducing 2007; Peeters and Faaij 2007; Rubin et al. 2007) and
greenhouse gases emission. More energy and less CO2 assessment of environmental impacts for identifying the
emission can be obtained by injecting CO2 into the oil potential trade-offs (Veltman et al. 2010). Total benefit of
reservoir. Therefore, in order to widen the benefit, local the implementation of CO2-EOR to society has, however,
government should establish several incentive policies received considerably less attention.
based on the benefit brought by CO2-EOR to motivate this There exist numerous natural gas fields with containing
behavior. In this study, we aim to give an exact evaluation high percentage of CO2 in the whole world. Putting these
method to measure the social benefit brought by CO2-EOR. gas fields into production will release a large amount of CO2
A calculation example was given to demonstrate how to and other greenhouse gases. If not captured and utilized,
use this method. The example showed that €12 per ton these GHG will be discharged to pollute the air and worsen
produced oil can be gained by CO2-EOR. Therefore, greenhouse effect, and ultimately damage the environment.
government should sponsor €12 for per ton produced oil to A solution to solve this crisis is to inject the separated CO2
incentivize the implementation of CO2-EOR. into adjacent oil reservoir by CO2-EOR technology which
not only improves the oil recovery, but also realizes the
Keywords Carbon capture and storage  Social benefit  storage and emission reduction of GHG. Recent reviews
Carbon dioxide-enhance oil recovery  Energy security  have shown that the cost of CCS for CO2 entrained in the
Climate policy raw reservoir gas is low compared to other applications
(Hardisty et al. 2011). The Global Carbon Capture and
Storage Institute found that on average, CCS increased the
Introduction cost of production for stationary power production by
between 39 and 78 %. However, in natural gas processing,
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of a host of CCS increased cost of production on average by only 1 %
technical solutions that are currently available for reducing (the lowest of all sectors) (Hardisty et al. 2011).
global emissions of GHG to the atmosphere, and thus curb Nevertheless, it is clear, from a macro-economic perspec-
the longer term effects of anthropogenic climate change tive, that the world is far better off with concerted action to
(Hardisty et al. 2011). CCS is well-studied in terms of implementation of CCS for CO2 entrained in the raw reservoir
GHG emission reduction potential for being aware of gas than it would be otherwise. However, our global economic
system is not set up to either measure or reward firms (or
individual countries) for acting in the common good. Firms of
X. Meng (&)  D. Luo
all kinds must seek to maximize profit with ignoring the social
School of Business Administration, China University
of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, People’s Republic of China benefit which cannot bring cash inflow to the company so that
e-mail: they can remain in business and deliver shareholder returns.

1084 X. Meng, D. Luo

Society, and the governments that represent them, must we know, stable CO2 is mainly captured from anthropo-
therefore regulate the activities of the market to achieve genic sources (Bennion and Bachu 2006) or separated from
desired social outcomes. In order to promote the application of high CO2 concentrated natural gas (Hawkins 1996).
this technology, governments must initiate a series of incen- However, the long-distance pipeline must be constructed to
tive policies which should be made based on the total social transport the CO2, which significantly reduces the benefit
benefit brought by the implementation of this technology. brought by the CO2-EOR. Therefore, a gas reservoir with
Hence, evaluation of the benefit brought by CO2-EOR is high CO2 content neighboring to an oil field is ideal for
critical to the policy-making. Therefore, a study on the eval- CO2-EOR implementation. The development of these gas
uation method of social benefit brought by CO2-EOR for CO2 reservoirs will establish a source of stable CO2 and
entrained in the raw reservoir gas was made in this paper to increase the domestic supply of clean energy at the same
provide scientific evidence and technical support for the for- time, encouraged by the implementation of CO2-EOR
mulation of CO2-EOR program incentive policies. technology. Increase in the supply of natural gas can
Three benefits of CO2 emission reduction, strengthening replace part of coal combustion under condition of certain
energy security, and the utilization of alternative energy world’s total energy consumption. Moreover the produc-
were described and formulized because little information tion and combustion of coal will release CH4, CO2, SO2,
was available on other social benefits. Of these there benefits, and other GHG while the combustion of natural gas will
previous studies on CO2 emission reduction concentrated on just release CO2 and H2O, and the greenhouse effect of
the emission reduction potential and the result stopped in the CH4 is 21 (Zhang et al. 2005; Zhang et al. 2008) times of
reduction amount although it were the most, strengthening CO2. To burn the natural gas instead of coal will release
energy security was first quantified by Luo and Xia (2009) in less amount of GHG emission. Hence, increased utilization
coal-bed methane projects, and the utilization of alternative of gas reservoir will result in certain environmental benefit.
energy had not been introduced to CO2-EOR although it was
well-known. Hence, study on evaluation method of CO2- Benefit of energy security
EOR was conducted in this paper to make up for blanks in
this area and make a contribution to popularizing CO2-EOR According to International Energy Outlook 2010 published
and the incentive policy-making. by U.S. Energy Information Administration, the world
energy consumption will grow by 49 % from 2007 to 2035.
BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2012 shows
Brief on CO2-EOR social benefit that the remained proved reserve of crude oil worldwide is
1652.6 billion barrels (excluding Canadian oil sands). The
CO2-EOR system includes the capture, transport, and oil reserve can sustain production for 54 years by referring to
reservoir sequestration of CO2 (Gozalpour et al. 2005). the annual production rate in 2011. Calculated in the same
Benefit of CO2-EOR technology refers to development in way, the existing natural gas reserves can meet 63 years of
social, environmental, and other areas as a result of exploitation and coal reserves for 112 years. The depleting
implementation (Zhang et al. 2008). The benefit of CO2 fossil fuels and the increasing consumption are reminding
emission reduction, strengthening energy security, and the and warning us of the world’s energy security.
utilization of alternative energy were concentrated on by The implementation of CO2-EOR technology will
this paper. A detailed discussion is as follows. increase crude oil production and boost development of gas
reservoirs adjacent to the oilfields, while decreasing CO2
Benefit of CO2 emission reduction emissions. This will help boost the global crude oil and
natural gas supply, which can make certain contribution to
According to CO2-EOR methods, CO2 that comes from the world energy security.
intensified energy-consuming enterprises and gas reser- From the discussion above, we can easily be aware of
voirs can be captured and stored underground (Lako 2002). the social benefits brought by CO2-EOR which are benefits
This will help decrease CO2 emissions and create a certain of CO2 emission reduction, natural gas as an alternative to
benefit of CO2 emission reduction (Espie and Exploration coal combustion and energy security.
2005; Sun 2006; Zhang et al. 2005).

Benefit of natural gas as an alternative to coal Evaluation method of social benefit from CO2-EOR
Based on the three social benefit from CO2-EOR discussed
Sustainable and stable access to high-purity CO2 is an previously, a comprehensive evaluation method will be
important prerequisite for CO2-EOR implementation. As illustrated below. Based on this method, benefits of a

An evaluation method of CO2-EOR 1085

CO2-EOR program can be calculated and thus provide a respectively; Cws and Cos is the dissolution coefficient of
basis for the incentive policy formulation. The evaluation CO2 in water and in crude oil, respectively; ERb and ERh is
method consists of three important parts, which is corre- the oil recovery factor before CO2 breakthrough and when
lated to each social benefit from CO2-EOR implementation. certain CO2 is injected, respectively.

CO2 emission reduction evaluation method Calculation method of effective storage capacity

GHG emission rights trade can be incorporated to estimate Calculation of effective storage capacity is based on the
the benefit of CO2-EOR. If we sequestrate one ton of CO2, calculation method of theoretical storage capacity and
we could sell one unit of emission right which has a fair considers the effect of the mobility ratio, buoyancy, het-
value in the market. Therefore, the social benefit of CO2 erogeneity, water saturation, aquifer strength, and other
mitigation can be calculated using CO2 storage amount factors. The formula (Bachu et al. 2007; Bachu 2008;
multiplied with carbon price in the international market. CSLF 2007; Doughty and Pruess 2005; Shen and Liao
2009; Shen et al. 2009) is as follows:
Calculation of CO2 storage amount Me ¼ Ce Mt ¼ Cm Cb Ch Cw Ca Mt ð3Þ

Based on the literature (Bachu et al. 2007; Bachu 2008; where Me is the effective reservoir capacity for CO2 stor-
CSLF 2005; CSLF 2007), CO2 storage capacity in geo- age, the subscripts m, b, h, w, and a stand for mobility,
logical bodies includes four levels theoretical, effective, buoyancy, heterogeneity, water saturation, and aquifer
practical, and matched storage capacities. With each strength, respectively, and the coefficient Ce is a single
increasing level, there are more factors to be considered in effective capacity coefficient that incorporates the cumu-
its calculation, which results in an increase in estimation lative effects of all the other.
precision (Bachu 2008; Shen and Liao 2009). In order to
calculate the amount of CO2 sequestrated more accurately,
Calculation of CO2 emission reduction benefit
the matched capacity should be used. However, there has
not been a calculation formula of the matched capacity and
Social benefit of CO2 emission reduction is calculated on
practical capacity (Shen and Liao 2009). So we evaluate the
the basis of CO2 effective storage capacity results.
benefit by applying the effective capacity which is in cal-
culated based on the theoretical capacity. The theoretical B1 ¼ M e PT ð4Þ
and effective storage capacity calculation methods (Shen
where B1 is the CO2 emission reduction benefit, PT is the
and Liao 2009; Shen et al. 2009) are presented as follows:
current price of carbon index in the international market.
Calculation method of theoretical storage capacity
Natural gas as an alternative to coal combustion benefit
Before CO2 breakthrough: evaluation method
Mt ¼ r9 ERb Ahuð1  Swi Þ  Viw þ Vpw
10  The benefit created as a result of natural gas as an alter-
þCws AhuSwi þ Viw  Vpw ð1Þ native to coal combustion is the difference of GHG emis-

þCos ð1  ERb ÞAhuð1  Swi Þ sion released respectively by coal and natural gas with
equal heating value and its calculative formulation is
After CO2 breakthrough: constructed below:
Mt ¼ ½ð0:4ERb þ 0:6ERh ÞAhuð1  Swi Þ  Viw þ Vpw B2 ¼ Qg Egm ðCmE þ Cm qm EmE Þ  CgE PT ð5Þ
þ Cws AhuSwi þ Viw  Vpw where Qg is the volume of produced gas by CO2-EOR
þ Cos ð1  0:4ERb þ 0:6ERh ÞAhuð1  Swi Þ motivating, Eg–m is the equivalent conversion coefficient
between gas and coal that of equal heating value, CmE is
the mass of CO2 released by burning one ton of coal, Cm is
where, Mt is the theoretical storage capacity of CO2 in the the volume of methane released by producing one ton of
reservoir, qr is the density of CO2 under reservoir condi- coal, qm is the methane density in standard condition, Em–E
tion, and A, h, u and Sw are reservoir area, thickness, is the mass conversion coefficient between methane and
porosity, and water saturation, respectively; Viw and Vpw CO2 that of equal greenhouse effect, and CgE is the mass of
are the volumes of water injected and produced, CO2 released by burning one cubic meter of gas.

1086 X. Meng, D. Luo

Energy security benefit evaluation method Table 1 Chinese oilfield basic information
Parameters Value
The contribution of CO2-EOR technology to world energy
security is mainly reflected in increasing energy supply Current geological reserves 1192.12 Mt
(Ralph and Randolph 2004). The sustainable increased Ultimate recovery 20 %
supply of oil and gas will reduce investment in energy Average reservoir pressure 22 MPa
security and the reduction in investment can be considered Average reservoir temperature 93 °C
as benefit of CO2-EOR. CO2 reservoir density 750.0 kg/m3
The general strategy of the international community Oil reservoir density 856.0 kg/m3
response to oil crisis is to set up strategic oil reserves. Oil reservoir volume factor 1.17
However, the associated cost is usually very high and is Reservoir dissolution coefficient of CO2 in oil 0.35
considered only a short-term solution (Luo and Xia 2009). Reservoir dissolution coefficient of CO2 in water 0.05
Therefore, it is significant to increase crude oil supply and Irreducible water saturation 20 %
develop alternative energy so as to effectively relieve the
tense relationship between crude oil supply and demand
and meanwhile save the enormous cost for building up
evaluation of the benefit as a result of CO2-EOR imple-
crude oil reserves.
mentation. The details of the Chinese oilfield are shown in
The implementation of CO2-EOR will increase the
Table 1.
domestic supply of crude oil and natural gas. Hence, the
reliance on imported oil and gas will decrease. Since the
Benefit of CO2 emission reduction
size of a country’s strategic petroleum reserve is propor-
tional to oil imports, an increased domestic supply will
Using Eq. (1), we can get the total theoretical CO2 storage
help reduce the scale of petroleum reserves and associated
capacity as 601.87Mt. Effective storage capacity can be
costs. Therefore, the cost of crude oil reserves can be used
calculated by Eq. (3). Taking 0.25 (Bachu 2002; Bachu and
to estimate the benefit made by CO2-EOR for energy
CSLF 2008; Bachu and Shaw 2003; CSLF 2007) as the
security (Luo and Xia 2009).
effective storage coefficient, we can get the effective
The estimation method is as follows:
storage capacity as 150.47Mt.

Qo þ Qg E Cd Since the reduction brought by this program belongs to the
B3 ¼ ð6Þ certified emission reduction, the CER (certified emission
reduction) price of €5.56 in the European climate exchange
where B3 is energy security benefit, Qo is the quantity of
market as on December 7, 2011 is adopted in this paper. The
enhanced crude oil, Qg is the quantity of natural gas, E is
emission reduction benefit is calculated as €836.61 9 106 by
the equivalent conversion factor of gas and oil, c is the cost
Eq. (4) and the calculation is shown in Table 2.
of oil reserve per unit, d is the days of oil reserve, D is the
annual days, and T is the exploration time of oil and gas (in
consistency with operation lifetime of oil and gas storage). Benefit of natural gas as an alternative to coal
The total average reserve cost (C) for storing per unit oil combustion
within the storage operation lifetime is as follows (Luo and
Xia 2009): Burning one cubic meter of gas could release about 1.885 kg
of CO2. Burning one ton of standard coal discharges about
C ¼ Cd þ Cj T þ Cc N ð7Þ 2.6t CO2 according to National Development and Reform
Commission (NDRC). And, the amount of gas was emitted
where Cd is the construction cost of oil reserve, Cj is the
by coal production can be calculated through Table 3
average annual operation and management cost, Cc is the
(Huang et al. 2009) below. The annual gas released by coal
average pumping and filling cost per time per unit, T is the
production and total coal production in China from 2000 to
operation time of storage, N is the pumping and filling times.
2007 according to Chinese statistics are shown in Table 3.
According to Table 3, an average of 6.863 m3 of gas
will be emitted by producing one ton of coal, of
CO2-EOR social benefit evaluation of an oilfield which around 90.6 % is CH4. The density of methane is
in China 0.78 kg/m3 in standard condition. So producing one ton of
coal will emit 4.8499 kg CH4.
Using the evaluation method constructed above and an Then what’s the volume of natural gas produced by this
oilfield in China as an example, we conducted an program? In this case, the quantity of CO2 sequestrated by

An evaluation method of CO2-EOR 1087

Table 2 Calculation of CO2 emission reduction benefit Table 4 Calculation of natural gas as an alternative to coal com-
bustion benefit
Items Calculation Value
basis Items Calculation Value
Mt: Theoretical storage capacity Eq. (1) 601.87 Mt
Ce: Effective storage coefficient 0.25 Qg: The volume of natural gas 177.59 9 109 m3
Me: Effective storage capacity Eq. (3) 150.47Mt
Eg–m: Equivalent conversion 1.2143 kg/m3
PT: CO2 price €5.56
coefficient between gas and coal
B1: CO2 emission reduction Eq. (4) €836.61 9 106
CmE: CO2 released by burning one 2.6t/t
ton of coal
Cmqm: CH4 released by producing 4.8499 kg/t
one ton of coal
Em–E: Mass conversion coefficient 21 t/t
this program is 150.47 Mt (Table 2) which is 76.11 9 between methane and CO2
109m3 as the density of CO2 in standard condition is CgE: GHG released by burning one 1.885 kg/m3
1.977 kg/m3. For a particular gas reservoir, the volume cubic meter of gas
content of CO2 in gas produced is fixed which was assumed PT: Price of CO2 €5.56
as 30 % in standard condition in this paper. Hence, the total B2: Natural gas as an alternative to Eq. (5) €1378.24 9 106
volume of gas produced is 253.7 9 109m3 and the volume coal combustion benefit
of natural gas is 177.59 9 109m3.
Burning one cubic meters of natural gas is identical to Table 5 Calculation of energy security benefit
burning 1.2143 kg of coal in terms of producing the
Items Calculation Value
equivalent heat value.
According to the data given above, benefit of natural gas
as an alternative to coal combustion can be calculated as Qo: Incremental oil production 238.424 Mt
€1378.24 9 106, and the calculation process is shown in Qg: The volume of natural gas 177.59 9 109 m3
Table 4. produced
E: The conversion of natural gas 1225 m3/t
and oil
Benefit of CO2-EOR for energy security C: Oil reserve cost per unit $218.73 t-1
d: The time for oil reserves 150 days
In consider of Chinese oil reserve in progress, American oil T: The exploitation time of 40 years
storage use
reserve data was adopted. According to Luo and Xia
D: The number of annual days 365 days
(2009), oil reserve cost per unit in the United States in 1998
The exchange rate of USD and $1.3405/€
was $162.06/t, which after adjusting for inflation, is around
$218.73/t in the beginning of 2012. The time for oil
B3: Energy security benefit Eq. (6) €642.72 9 106
reserves is about 150 days in American, the exploitation
time of storage use is 40 years, and the number of annual
days is 365. In this case, the current geological reserves of exchange rate was 1.3405 on December 7, 2011. The cal-
the oilfield in China are 1192.12Mt, and the ultimate culation of energy security benefit is shown in Table 5.
recovery is 20 %, so the incremental oil production is To sum up, the implementation of this technology will
238.424Mt. So, 238.424Mt of oil and 177.59 9 109m3 of bring €836.61 9 106 of CO2 emission reduction benefit,
natural gases can be acquired, and the conversion of natural €1378.24 9 106 of alternative energy source benefit and
gas and oil was 1225 m3/t. According to the data given €642.72 9 106 of energy security benefit, which adds up to
above, the energy security benefit is $861.57 9 106 cal- the total social benefit as €2857.57 9 106 and €12 per ton
culated by Eq. 6 which is €642.72 9 106 while the of incremental oil production (Table 6).

Table 3 Gas released by coal production and total coal production in China from 2000 to 2007
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Average

Gas emission (108 m3) 88 95 100 120 130 150 165 180 128.5
Total coal production(108 t) 12.99 13.82 14.55 17.22 19.92 22.05 23.73 25.26 18.69
Gas emission per ton of coal 6.773 6.876 6.875 6.969 6.525 6.804 6.953 7.126 6.863

1088 X. Meng, D. Luo

Table 6 Calculation of total social benefit of implementing CO2- populated areas requires attention to route selection,
EOR overpressure protection, leak detection, and other design
Items Calculation Value factors. Given the long timeframes associated with geo-
basis logical storage of CO2, site monitoring may be required for
very long periods.
CO2 Emission Reduction Benefit Table 2 €836.61 9 106
Natural gas as an alternative to coal Table 4 €1378.24 9 106
combustion benefit
Energy security benefit Table 5 €642.72 9 106 Conclusions
Total social benefit of €2857.57 3 10
implementing CO2-EOR In this paper comprehensive benefit analysis and assess-
Incremental oil production Table 5 238.424Mt ment models were created to evaluate the social benefit of
Total social benefit per ton of €12/t implementing CO2-EOR projects. Three conclusions can
incremental oil production be made based on the work above:
(1) The benefit of CO2-EOR projects can be elaborated
into environmental protection in the form of reduction
in GHG emissions, increased utilization of quality
energy in the form of natural gas productions as
The example above presented how to calculate the social
alternative to coal, and enhancing a nation’s domestic
benefit using the method developed by this paper, and the
energy security by increasing crude oil and natural
method has shown its simplicity and practicability in the
gas production. Enlarging the scale of current CO2-
process of calculation.
EOR project should be encouraged and supported by
Previous studies of CCS generally concentrated on
the government to acquire the social benefit in the
potential emission reduction, cost of implementation, and
current international situation.
assessment of environmental impacts, and there have not
(2) This paper constructed a model that can be used to
been any discussion on the total social benefit, so there
calculate the benefit. Using this model in Chinese
have not been also any study on method for calculating the
oilfield case, we can get that €836.61 9 106 of GHG
total social benefit of CO2-EOR program. But the method
emission reduction benefit, €1378.24 9 106 of natural
for calculating the social benefit has been researched on
gas as an alternative to coal combustion benefit and
other programs, such as agriculture program and public
€642.72 9 106 energy security benefit can be gained
road program. The methods they take usually were input–
by the implementation of CO2-EOR. This means that
output method, system dynamics, fuzzy comprehensive
€12 subsidy can be provided to produce one ton oil to
assessment, and so on. However, the application of these
widen this technology and acquire social benefit
methods requires a lot of data and information and high
mentioned above.
quality of modeling work which make the evaluation hard
(3) Influenced by Europe debt crisis and other factors, the
to realize. Too many assumptions in these model approa-
market price of CO2 has always been low. If CO2
ches also make the evaluation result contain a lot of sub-
trading price rises, the benefit brought by the
jective factors. Moreover, the complexity and subjectivity
implementation of CO2-EOR will be huger.
of these methods make the application subject to various
factors and operability restricted. Whereas the method
developed by this paper more connects to the reality, is Acknowledgments This paper is funded by the National High
Technology Research and Development Program of China (863
more simple and convenient and practical. Since there was
Program) through the seventh subject which is the economic evalu-
no one who ever calculated the total social benefit of CO2- ation technology of CO2 flooding and sequestration system. The
EOR program before, so the result cannot be validated by subject number is 2009AA063407-20AA.
the previous studies.
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