Low oil prices force NRG Energy to put hold on Petra Nova carbon capture project

August 06, 2020
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The outlook for industrial CO2 capture for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications does not look positive following the indefinite shutdown of Petra Nova, the largest commercial-scale post-combustion CO2 capture facility to date. Current low oil prices attributed to COVID-19 have made the flagship project uneconomical, though NRG Energy will look to resume operations once economics improve. However, despite potential 45Q tax credits for CO2 utilization, Lux's own analysis found that the project would not be economical for COEOR unless oil prices hit the $70/bbl mark. Without stronger cost incentives, operators will continue to look for cheap, naturally sourced CO2 for EOR until oil prices recover or the cost of CO2 capture comes down.

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