emissions of CO2 come from high-purity sources of this sort (Dooley et al., 2006), which provides opportunities for testing geologic storage at significant scale without requiring additional separations or constructing new power plants. In the limited instances where those sources are relatively close to locations at which EOR might be undertaken, the net cost of storage could be negative, as the revenue from oil sales would likely exceed the cost of storage. At coal-fired power plants, the largest sources in numbers and total emissions of CO2, the cost of CO2 capture typically exceeds the estimated costs of compression, transportation, and injection into the subsurface.
Dooley et al. (2006) estimated CO2 capture costs ranging from zero (for plants that already separate a high-purity CO2 stream) to $57 per tonne CO2 (for a low-purity natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant), and compression costs of $6–12 per tonne CO2. Transportation costs were estimated to range from $0.2 to $10 per tonne CO2, with the low-cost end of the range being for large-volume pipelines. Geologic storage costs are also likely to vary with the specific application. Dooley et al. estimated costs of minus $18 to plus $12 per tonne CO2 for saline aquifer, EOR, and enhanced coal bed methane-injection projects, with the negative- and low-cost estimates applicable when cost recovery through sale of hydrocarbons is possible. Costs that are roughly consistent with these numbers are reported in the IPCC Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage (IPCC, 2002), when corrections to translate 2002 costs to 2006 are made.
The forgoing estimates of potential costs of storage are “bottom-up,” based largely on engineering estimates of expenses for transport, land purchase, drilling and sequestering, and capping wells. However, quantified factors based on engineering analysis may represent a lower bound on future costs. Uncertainty in the regulatory environment created by public resistance to CCS could result in costly delays in implementation at the project level, both during the demonstration phase over the next decade and even when CCS has attained full commercial-scale operation (Palmgren et al., 2004; Wilson et al., 2007; IRGC, 2008). Extra costs could be incurred at a given project site because of interruption of operations even at a different site, given that the technologies, monitoring, and regulation of storage are likely to be closely related across sites. Costs usually not taken into account also result from the likely need to secure storage rights a very large amount of belowground space for the lifetime of a facility (Socolow, 2005).
One feature of CCS that improves the odds of deployment evolving without major disruption is that many of the early CCS projects will be EOR projects. They would likely be located where the general population is already familiar with