In its recently released study, the Global CCS Institute covers in detail both the importance and challenges of carbon capture and sequestration. While carbon dioxide has successfully been used in parts of the U.S., including Mississippi, to stimulate oil flow out of old wells (enhanced oil recovery), the source of the CO2 has been natural geologic sources rather than captured CO2 from power plants or elsewhere. The technology for carbon capture on industrial emissions, like with power plants, remains in the development and commercialization phase, and the Kemper power plant in east Mississippi, once operating, will be an early commercial scale user of the technology.

Much of challenge ahead for carbon capture and sequestration is overcoming the technology expense. Therefore, places like Mississippi with an enhanced oil recovery industry and the accompanying CO2 pipeline infrastructure are logical starting places for technology deployment. Rather than CO2 being an expense and liability, enhanced oil recovery enables CO2 to be an asset valued in the marketplace. The benefit of CO2 sales, in turn, can go back to cover the technology costs.

Perhaps the bottom line for carbon capture and sequestration is, at least in the near term, the practice will probably require enhanced oil recovery to help make the economic case.