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Occidental Petroleum and White Energy to study feasibility of capturing CO2 from ethanol plant for enhanced oil recovery

Occidental Petroleum Corporation and biofuel producer White Energy have agreed to evaluate the economic feasibility of a carbon capture, utilization and storage project. The project would capture CO2 at White Energy’s ethanol facilities in Hereford and Plainview, Texas, and transport it to the Permian Basin, where Occidental would use it in its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. Occidental injects CO2 into oil reservoirs, causing trapped oil to flow more easily and efficiently.

The engineering study, expected to last six months, will examine the costs of building a carbon capture facility. If Occidental and White Energy determine the project is economically feasible, operations could begin as soon as 2021.

The carbon capture project would be designed to be eligible for 45Q tax credits and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Carbon Capture and Storage protocol, both currently in development, demonstrating that these important incentives result in near-term investment, reduced CO2 emissions and jobs.

Occidental is an industry leader in applying CO2 EOR technology. This technology can increase oil recovery by 10 to 25 percent in the fields where it is employed, while at the same time permanently sequestering the CO2 in the reservoir.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Occidental’s two Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) plans for CO2 EOR fields in its Permian Basin operations. These plans, which were the first approved by EPA, demonstrate that the captured CO2 is safely and permanently stored and establish a framework to quantify the amount of CO2 sequestered.

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