More than 85 percent of the world's energy is supplied by fossil fuels and with global energy demand expected to double by 2050, it is imperative to develop the technology, policy, and business models that will allow energy suppliers to both reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and provide the energy required for sustained economic growth.

Meeting this challenge will require an "all-of-the-above" energy approach. It will require technology that allows producers to maximize the most from each kilowatt of energy, megatherm of heat, and molecule of basic chemicals. All must be sustainable -- both environmentally and economically. And sustainability can only be achieved with new technology and informed public policy.

CCUS Diagram 

Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative brings together globally recognized energy policy analysts, veteran energy industry talent from engineering researchers and scientists with decades of experience researching CO2 transport, injection, and enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

CO2 utilization via EOR provides a perfect balance of energy and environment and using EOR in conjunction with permanent CO2 mitigation via carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is a major focus of the Energy and Environment Initiative.

Rice has programmatic expertise in:

  • Imaging and computational projections of CO2 in oil and gas fields.
  • The use of smart nanomaterials to track movements and patterns within fields.
  • Seismic analysis before, during, and after CO2 injection.
  • The integration of surfactants and other flow-enhancers with CO2 EOR technology.
  • Water utilization, quality, and supply implications for EOR and CCUS.
  • Public policy and market issues associated with CCUS in domestic and international onshore and offshore areas.
  • The social and cultural implications of EOR and CCUS, especially in international markets.

For more information, please visit the Consortium for Processes in Porous Media, the Consortium on Petroleum Thermodynamics & Flow Assurance, the Global Seismology Group, and these Rice experts:

Flow Assurance: Walter Chapman and Francisco Vargas

EOR: Lisa Biswal, Francisco Vargas, Rafael Verduzco, James Tour, Beatrice Riviere, and George Hirasaki.