At least three coal-fired power plants are under construction in the U.S. that are designed to have their CO2 emissions captured and sent to an oil field for enhanced oil recovery, including the Kemper County Energy Facility up the road from here. So a full accounting of how much CO2 really gets stored is postponed for some future reckoning. Similarly, the ancient coast left lots of oil deposits, salt domes and the like. The last time oil prices stayed low for a very long time was the 1980s and 1990s. At the nearby Oil Field Café, everybody I ask chuckles when I observe that the fight against climate change seems to rely on burying CO2 to bring up more oil—which then gets burned to create more CO2. China is the world's largest source of CO2 pollution yet it is less capable of affording the technology to clean up its coal-burning habit. It carries CO2 from Jackson Dome, but the same line will one day carry CO2 captured at the Kemper facility. Getting more oil out of the ground, in the Jilin or Shengli petroleum reservoirs for example, could help defray the cost. All of that costs billions of dollars in initial outlay, plus daily operating expenses. "It requires capital investment and time.". But precisely because tropical forests store large amounts of carbon—both in primary (old-growth) forests and secondary (disturbed and regenerating) forests—it is important to protect these lands from oil palm development. "This is our golden child in the future," the oil industry veteran says of his Mississippi assets. Oil is currently selling for around $40 a barrel, thanks to a world awash in petroleum, perhaps because producers are scrambling to pump as much as possible, before economies move away from oil in an attempt to limit climate change. Kemper has cost more than $6 billion to build. The recent global climate agreement in Paris was a major step in recognizing the global urgency of the crisis, but it will take serious action from national and subnational governments to meet new goals that aspire to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But the U.S. is in the vanguard of the effort to have coal and burn it, too. Since 1972 CO2 has been injected into U.S. oil reservoirs continuously, resulting in an extra two billion barrels of oil and a billion metric tons of CO2 stored underground. Today he manages about 4,000 acres of longleaf pine in Mississippi—not for the timber, but for what lies far beneath the woods. In 2005 a whopping 86 percent of energy used worldwide came from fossil fuel combustion, and right now in the United States, the number isn’t much lower at about 85 percent. Gas is flared as waste at a California fracking facility in 2014. Roughly 70 million barrels of oil per year are produced this way. Today about one quarter of that CO2 comes from industries that happen to be located close to old oil fields and produce lots of CO2 as a by-product, such as fertilizer manufacturing plants or cement kilns. Another is the government and regulations like the Clean Power Plan. Global warming is occurring as a direct result of our actions. But if oil prices stay too low for too long, they will no longer be able to afford to keep purchasing CO2. If the CO2 can be captured from a coal-fired power plant, even if it ends up producing a few more barrels of oil, the overall approach can help to reduce emissions, slowing global warming. Oil companies that today pay for CO2 to be delivered from natural deposits are in danger of losing money, because the current price of oil is so low. Right now, Tellus gets its CO2 from a deposit called the Jackson Dome in western Mississippi, and other oil companies are using a similar approach at hundreds of old wells around the country. That remains to be proved. Hmiel says methane concentrations in our atmosphere have soared by about 150 percent in the roughly two centuries since the Industrial Revolution. Driving back from Tinsley, Schnacke and I pass a coal train. The process is not as easy as just getting CO2 and dumping it down a well, however. The other three quarters is naturally occurring CO2, which simply transfers the gas from one underground reservoir to another. But methane -- the main component in natural gas and an even more effective heat-trapping gas -- is a close second. Today, the country accounts for approximately 23 percent of all global CO2 emissions. Scientists say that atmospheric methane is now responsible for about. "Another day in paradise," says Macumber as we meet at a Chevron gas station in southeastern Mississippi, about the closest thing to a landmark around here. Still, CO2 for oil recovery can hardly be worse than simply dumping the greenhouse gas directly into the atmosphere, where it has already accumulated in sufficient quantity to stave off the next ice age for millennia. The oil industry calls the whole operation a recycling facility: burn oil, produce CO2, capture that CO2 and use it to force out more oil to burn. The U.S. has the most oil recovered with CO2 but it is really China that needs the technology. Macumber says Tellus loses money on oil produced with CO2 when a barrel of oil sells below $50. Or about it escaping directly to the surface and settling in a smothering cloud on a home or town, as happened in 1986 when Lake Nyos in Cameroon burped out a pure, invisible cloud of natural CO2 that killed more than 1,700 people. Sequestering the gas belowground costs money, and the only way to pay for it on a scale large enough to slow global warming is for oil companies worldwide to buy the CO 2 for enhanced oil … Still, the Bush administration continued to tout fossil fuels over all other energy sources, supporting ridiculously low fuel economy standards, more oil drilling, new natural gas pipelines, oil shale development, coal-fired power plants and coal mining, and other projects that drive global warming and harm species and habitat. Oil and gas production is contributing even more to global warming than was thought, study finds August 28, 2010 at 12:53 PM. Despite what sounds like big numbers, "it's not a big industry," Schnacke notes. Fracking and CO2 are the best available routes to more oil here in the U.S., Macumber and others argue. For the climate to benefit, however, enough of that CO2 has to remain sequestered underground after it's done scouring out more oil, a complex calculation that also depends on how many barrels of oil—and of what quality—are ultimately produced. As it stands, oil fields like Tinsley or Macumber's Raleigh will make or break prospects for cleaning the dirtiest power plants. Once underground, the tiny greenhouse gas molecule mixes with the bigger molecules that make up the toxic stew known as oil, both helping them flow better and restoring the subterranean pressure that had been reduced by the original tapping of the petroleum. ENERGY AND GLOBAL WARMING. The real question is: Who will pay for it? Cheap oil usually boosts demand, which then consumes available supply, driving prices back up over time—or so it has been over the course of the 20th and early decades of the 21st centuries. To solve the puzzle, the scientists looked for clues in ancient air bubbles trapped in Greenland's ice sheet.
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