Energy Excursions

CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery

"Take an energy excursion to explore scientific and engineering methods to increase oil and gas production throughout the life of a field, while at the same time minimizing the operational carbon footprint."


This lesson explores CO2 enhanced oil recovery, its impact on the longevity of an oil and gas field and the technology’s ability to contribute to negative carbon emissions as part of a carbon capture, utilization and storage project. Motivation for this lesson is the importance of CO2 enhanced oil recovery as part of an overall carbon mitigation strategy, while continuing to supply the global level of energy demand. “CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery” lays the foundation for understanding the difference between a utilization and storage strategy (with CO2 stored as part of an enhanced oil recovery project) and a storage strategy, where Class VI injection wells are part of the project design.

Learning Outcomes

  • Grasp the distinction between primary, secondary and tertiary recovery strategies
    • Original oil in place (OOIP)
  • Understand how CO2 enhanced oil recovery works
    • miscibility
    • minimum miscibility pressure
  • Learn about the net carbon footprint of CO2 enhanced oil recovery
    • lifecycle analysis
  • Follow the spotlighted career of a scientist who has made significant contributions to the application of lifecycle analysis to CO2-enhanced oil recovery projects
  • Recognize the importance of Texas scientists and engineers in the historical development and application of CO2-enhanced oil recovery technology
    • Case Study: Permian Basin of Texas
  • Understand the future market drivers for CO2 in the Permian Basin and its ramifications for anthropogenic CO2 supply needs
Oklahoma Academic Standards
TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics
Next Generation Science Standards