A new study commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce reports that carbon dioxide based enhanced oil production (CO2 EOR) accounts for nearly 6% of U.S. onshore oil production, or 350,000 barrels a day, but it could be expanded to produce a potential of 4 million barrels a day of oil for 50 years from existing U.S. oil fields. To put that in context, total US crude oil output rose in late 2012 to 6.5 million barrels per day.
The report notes that "An analysis commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects potential oil resources recoverable with CO2 EOR of up to 137 billion barrels, with 67 billion barrels economically recoverable at a price of $85 a barrel. This represents more than three times the current
U.S. proven reserves."
The USCC report shows the St. John's CO2-helium field in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico as one of the potential sources of the additional CO2 needed to ramp up EOR production, especially in New Mexico and Texas oil fields. Kinder Morgan is carrying out an expanded evaluation program of the St. Johns field in preparation for producing it and shipping the CO2 east via pipeline.