October, 2016

Excerpt from EPRI Journal


Q&A: Advanced Resources International President Vello Kuuskraa


EPRI Journal: How has the shale gas revolution affected the U.S. power sector’s natural gas consumption? What do you see for future demand?


Vello Kuuskraa: With increased availability of lower cost natural gas supplies and emphasis on lowering CO2 emissions, the use of natural gas in the U.S. electric power sector jumped from 17 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) 10 years ago to more than 27 Bcfd this year, making it the largest fuel source for power generation. With nearly 20 gigawatts of new natural-gas-fired capacity due to come online in the next three to four years—mainly to replace older, less efficient coal units—I expect continuing growth in natural-gas-fired power generation, though at a less spectacular pace than in the past decade.

Still, I see considerable uncertainties for the outlook for natural gas use by the power sector. These include the timing for implementing the Clean Power Plan, the extent to which natural-gas-fired capacity will be needed as backup power for intermittent wind and solar generation, and the reliability and affordability of carbon capture and storage technology to make natural-gas-fired plants a zero CO2 emissions source.

With continuing changes in the sources and locations of new supplies, I expect power companies to follow a variety of strategies to integrate with natural gas supply to support its reliable delivery to power plants. Recent examples include Southern Company’s purchase of AGL Resources, the largest natural gas distributor in the United States; Southern Company’s acquisition of half of Kinder Morgan’s Southern Natural Gas; and Duke Energy’s proposal to acquire Piedmont Natural Gas. Other power companies may look to purchase or build natural gas storage and potentially even acquire production assets as hedges against future price volatility.


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March 17, 2014

Excerpt from GHG Reduction Technologies Monitor


Q&A: Advanced Resources International President Vello Kuuskraa


GHG Reduction Technologies Monitor: So what has restimulated the recent interest in CO2 EOR?


Vello Kuuskraa: At Advanced Resources Int’l, with support from the DOE and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), we began to analyze the potential of using and storing anthropogenic CO2 with EOR rather than just injecting the captured CO2 emissions in saline aquifers.

The major hurdle we faced was the view that - - ‘Yes, it's all very nice, but CO2-EOR is a small, niche opportunity’. While we were claiming that CO2-EOR was a ‘Bridge to CO2 Sequestration,’ others, believing that the opportunities for CO2 utilization by EOR were very small called it a ‘Bridge to Nowhere’.


GHG Reduction Technologies Monitor: Based on what you mentioned earlier on the role for DOE , NETL and State governments, do you believe that there is a need for a gov’t-industry working partnership to move forward?


Vello Kuuskraa: A government/industry R&D partnership on CO2 enhanced oil recovery, particularly to pursue advanced versions of CO2-EOR, would be of great benefit. If you ask me the question what are the most important things to do to get CCUS going, my view is the following:


First, is to bring down the cost of CO2 capture from power plants, from the $80 to $100 a metric ton of CO2 today

Second, is to pursue advanced, we call it Next Generation, CO2 EOR technology. By making the CO2-EOR process more efficient, the size of the CO2 market doubles and industry would be able to pay more for CO2.

Third, is to pursue policy options that would close the gap between the cost of CO2 capture and the EOR industry’s affordable market price for CO2.

Finally, the opportunities for CO2 utilization and storage by EOR overseas are likely several fold larger than in the U.S. This could be a most interesting topic for a future study and discussion.


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February 12, 2013

Excerpt from Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology


The 60 Second Interview: The Role of Enhanced Oil Recovery for Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage


Interview with Vello Kuuskraa, President, Advanced Resources International


GHG: What is the role of CO2 EOR as a market driver for CO2 capture and storage?


Vello Kuuskraa: CO2-EOR can provide a series of market drivers for CCUS. It can remove the costs of CO2 storage from the power company and transfer the long-term liability for CO2 to the oil company. Most importantly, CO2-EOR can provide revenues from the sale of CO2, which can help to bridge the gap between the cost of CO2 capture and other revenues, incentives and support provided to carbon capture and storage (CCS).


GHG: How can EOR help to reduce carbon emissions?


Vello Kuuskraa: There are concerns by some that CO2-EOR will just bring more carbon out of the ground and therefore add to the problem. That’s called “additionality.” However, CO2-EOR stores nearly as much CO2 as the carbon content of the oil, making it a low to neutral carbon energy option. The low/neutral carbon barrel of oil from CO2-EOR can substitute for a full carbon content barrel of oil from imports and push the use of that high-carbon oil into the next century. Therefore, from a practical point of view, CO2-EOR provides substitution of low-carbon oil for high-carbon oil, very much like wind power provides low-carbon substitution for gas or coal-fired power.


For full interview, please visit