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NEORI Analysis & Methodology

October 27, 2012 in Carbon Management

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the Great Plains Institute (GPI) conducted an analysis, with extensive input from the participants of National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI), to inform NEORI’s recommendations for a federal production tax credit to support enhanced oil recovery with carbon dioxide (CO2-EOR). In particular, C2ES and GPI explored the implications of the recommendations for CO2supply, oil production and federal revenue. This document describes the research, assumptions, and methodology used in the analysis. NEORI’s recommendations report, Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery: A Critical Domestic Energy, Economic, and Environmental Opportunity, can be found at:

C2ES and GPI compared the likely cost of a federal tax credit for greater CO2 capture and supply with the federal revenues expected from applying existing tax rates to the resulting incremental oil production. C2ES and GPI quantified two key relationships for CO2-EOR develop­ment and a related tax credit program:

1) Cost gap – the difference between CO2 suppliers’ cost to capture and transport CO2 and EOR operators’ willingness to pay for CO2. The goal of the tax credit is to bridge the cost gap. Thus, the cost gap determines the expected level of the tax credit in a proposed competitive-bidding process.

2) Revenue neutrality/revenue-positive outcome the federal government will bear the cost of a CO2-EOR tax credit program, yet it will enjoy increased revenues from the expansion of CO2-EOR oil production when existing tax rates are applied to the additional production. C2ES and GPI analyzed when the net present value of expected revenues would equal or exceed the net present value of program costs.

Figure 1: Illustration of the Cost Gap and Revenue Neutral/Revenue Positive Outcome of Federal Production Tax Credit Program

*The “cost gap” is the difference between the cost to capture and transport COand what EOR operators are willing to pay for CO2

**Net present value is the sum of annual tax revenue minus annual production tax credit costs for each year of the production tax credit program, discounted for each year

C2ES and GPI calculated the tax credit required to bridge the cost gap, and the cost and revenue implica­tions. C2ES and GPI developed input assumptions based on real-world physical and market conditions after consulting with NEORI participants and other industry experts and reviewing available literature. C2ES and GPI developed a core scenario based on “best guess” inputs and conducted several sensitivity analyses of key inputs. C2ES and GPI demonstrated that a program can be designed that will become “revenue positive” (defined as when the federal revenues from ad­ditional new oil production exceed the cost of a carbon capture tax credit program after applying a discount rate to both costs and revenues) within ten years after tax credits are awarded. Sensitivity analysis reveals that the program remains revenue positive using a realistic range of likely assumptions.

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Senators come together to achieve a win for energy security, the environment, and the economy

October 10, 2012 in Carbon Management Author: Brad Crabtree
Capitol GraphicIn the midst of the election season, with partisan politics in full force, a group of Senators came together to introduce legislation that aims to achieve a win for energy security, the environment and the economy in the U.S. In September, Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced bi-partisan legislation that supports expansion of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR).

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Press Release: The Great Plains Institute commends Conrad-Enzi-Rockefeller bill

September 20, 2012 in Carbon Management, News & Press

Press Release GraphicThe Great Plains Institute commends Conrad-Enzi-Rockefeller bill to increase American oil production and reduce carbon emissions MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Today, Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced a bipartisan bill to advance the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), an important opportunity to strengthen our national security by reducing dependence on imported oil through increased American oil production; create new jobs and increase investment across the country; and reduce CO2 emissions from a range of industrial sources—all at the same time.

The Great Plains Institute applauds Senators Conrad, Enzi and Rockefeller for introducing legislation that improves the existing Section 45Q Tax Credit for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in order to secure private sector investment in critical, near-term projects to capture CO2 from power plants and industrial sources for use in EOR projects that increase oil production and reduce emissions through geologic carbon storage.

The bill reflects recommendations from the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI), which brings together a broad coalition of leaders from industry, labor, state government, and environmental groups. NEORI is convened by the Great Plains Institute and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

Midwestern Ethanol Innovation: Maximizing Process Efficiency and Carbon Reduction

May 20, 2012 in Reports & Whitepapers, Transportation & Fuels

An extension of our work with the MGA Advanced Transportation Fuels Advisory Group, this new white paper provides an overview of opportunities for improving efficiency and environmental performance at corn ethanol plants. Starting with a description of the ethanol production process, we then provide a menu of practices and technologies that can be implemented to reduce energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. We also provide examples of plants that are currently using these practices. While progress on ethanol  innovation is being made, there remains a large opportunity for broader adoption of these strategies.

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CO2-EOR Potential in the MGA Region

February 26, 2012 in Reports & Whitepapers

This report was developed pursuant to recommendations of the Midwestern Governors Association’s (MGA) CCS Task Force and in advancement of Governor Pat Quinn’s 2011 MGA Chair’s Agenda. The report was developed in collaboration with the Great Plains Institute and with the generous feedback of MGA stakeholders and other experts in the Midwest.


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Modifications to the 45Q Tax Credit

February 15, 2012 in Carbon Management, Reports & Whitepapers

The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) recommends that Congress consider implementing arevenue-positive federal production tax credit to support deployment of commercial carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and pipeline projects. A new, more robust federal incentive is needed to increase the supply of man-made or anthropogenic CO2 that the oil industry can purchase for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to increase domestic production from existing oil fields.

NEORI also recommends that Congress undertake immediate modification of the existing Section 45Q Tax Credit for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration, through legislative action and/or working with the Department of the Treasury to revise Internal Revenue Service program guidance.

To avoid stalling important commercial CO2 capture projects under development, there is an urgent need to improve the functionality and financial certainty of this federal incentive to enable its effective commercial use.

To make 45Q immediately accessible to US companies, Congress should pursue the following changes to the program:

  • Designate the owner of the CO2 capture facility as the primary taxpayer;
  • Establish a registration, credit allocation, and certification process;
  • Change the recapture provision to ensure that any regulations issued after the disposal or use of CO2 shall not enable the government to recapture credits that were awarded according to regulations that existed at the time; and
  • Authorize limited transferability of the credit within the CO2 chain of custody, from the primary taxpayer to the entity responsible for disposing of the CO2.

The consensus recommendations below detail the specific 45Q program modifications requested, and the section-by-section summary provides further explanation and context.

Background and Rationale
Section 45Q makes available a per-ton credit for CO2 disposed of in secure geologic storage. The program provides $10 per metric ton for CO2 stored through EOR operations and $20 per metric ton for CO2 stored in deep saline formations. However, due to unforeseen issues in the original statute (§ 115 of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008), the 45Q program lacks sufficient transparency and certainty for companies to be able to use the credit to secure private financing for projects.

Large-scale expansion of commercial EOR using industrially-sourced CO2 later in this decade requires that critical industrial capture projects begin construction now and enter commercial operation within the next few
years. If Congress makes modest, functional improvements this year to 45Q that result in little or no additional fiscal cost, the program currently authorized at 75 million metric tons of CO2 stored can help several significant EOR projects nationwide secure private sector financing and move forward to commercial operation.

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Opportunities to enable interstate coordination & cooperation in support of transmission infrastructure build-out in the Midwest

September 1, 2011 in Electricity, Reports & Whitepapers

Transmission infrastructure development is fundamental to the successful build-out of large-scale renewable energy production and other sources of cleaner, advanced energy production in the Midwest. The level of transmission build-out needed to support deployment of cleaner energy will require multiple jurisdictions and authorities to coordinate and collaborate. A robust, reliable and cost-effective transmission system can be achieved through coordination and cooperation at the state, regional and federal levels and through engagement of key stakeholders to provide guidance on policy development and implementation. Continue reading »

Spotlight On Biogas: Policies for Utilization and Deployment in the Midwest

August 2, 2010 in Reports & Whitepapers
Biogas is a renewable energy resource that holds tremendous potential to help meet our future energy needs. As a versatile energy resource, it can be utilized as a feedstock for electricity and/or heat, a source of renewable natural gas, or as a vehicle fuel. Materials that can be used to produce biogas are abundant, especially in the Midwest – an area rich with livestock production, food processing byproducts, and crop residues. Agricultural production is not the only source of biogas production in the Midwest; wastewater treatment facilities, urban wood and yard wastes, and landfills also provide a feedstock source.

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