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Off-shore enhanced oil recovery in the North Sea: The impact of price uncertainty on the investment decisions


  • Compernolle, T.
  • Welkenhuysen, K.
  • Huisman, K.
  • Piessens, K.
  • Kort, P.


Although CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) is considered a key solution for CO2 emission mitigation, it is currently not economically feasible. CO2 enhanced oil recovery can play a significant role in stimulating CCS deployment because CO2 is used to extract additional quantities of oil. This study analyzes the investment decision of both a carbon emitting source and an oil company separately by adopting a real options approach. It is shown that when uncertainty is integrated in the economic analysis, CO2 and oil price threshold levels at which investments in CO2 capture and enhanced oil recovery will take place, are higher than when a net present value approach is adopted. We also demonstrate that a tax on CO2 instead of an emission trading system results in a lower investment threshold level for the investment in the CO2 capture unit. Furthermore, we determine a minimum CO2 selling price between the two firms and show that CO2-EOR has the potential to pull CCS into the market by providing an additional revenue on the capture plant. However, when CO2 permit prices are above an identifiable level, the EU ETS does not necessarily result in the adoption of CCS and stimulates oil production.

Suggested Citation

  • Compernolle, T. & Welkenhuysen, K. & Huisman, K. & Piessens, K. & Kort, P., 2017. "Off-shore enhanced oil recovery in the North Sea: The impact of price uncertainty on the investment decisions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 123-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:123-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.11.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gwang Goo Lee & Sung-Won Ham, 2023. "Prediction of Carbon Price in EU-ETS Using a Geometric Brownian Motion Model and Its Application to Analyze the Economic Competitiveness of Carbon Capture and Storage," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(17), pages 1-13, August.
    2. Adkins, Roger & Paxson, Dean, 2019. "Rescaling-contraction with a lower cost technology when revenue declines," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 277(2), pages 574-586.
    3. Jia-Yue Huang & Yun-Fei Cao & Hui-Ling Zhou & Hong Cao & Bao-Jun Tang & Nan Wang, 2018. "Optimal Investment Timing and Scale Choice of Overseas Oil Projects: A Real Option Approach," Energies, MDPI, vol. 11(11), pages 1-22, October.
    4. Pengchun Li & Xueyan Liu & Jiemin Lu & Di Zhou & Susan D. Hovorka & Gang Hu & Xi Liang, 2018. "Potential evaluation of CO2 EOR and storage in oilfields of the Pearl River Mouth Basin, northern South China Sea," Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 8(5), pages 954-977, October.
    5. Tine Compernolle & Kuno J. M. Huisman & Peter M. Kort & Maria Lavrutich & Cláudia Nunes & Jacco J. J. Thijssen, 2021. "Investment Decisions with Two-Factor Uncertainty," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(11), pages 1-17, November.
    6. Thomas Aspinall & Adrian Gepp & Geoff Harris & Simone Kelly & Colette Southam & Bruce Vanstone, 2021. "Estimation of a term structure model of carbon prices through state space methods: The European Union emissions trading scheme," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 3797-3819, June.
    7. Muhammad Ridhuan Tony Lim Abdullah & Saedah Siraj & Zulkipli Ghazali, 2021. "An ISM Approach for Managing Critical Stakeholder Issues Regarding Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Deployment in Developing Asian Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(12), pages 1-23, June.
    8. Wu, Xi & Wang, Yudong, 2021. "How does corporate investment react to oil prices changes? Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    9. Loïc Weerdt & Tine Compernolle & Verena Hagspiel & Peter Kort & Carlos Oliveira, 2022. "Stepwise Investment in Circular Plastics Under the Presence of Policy Uncertainty," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 83(2), pages 413-443, October.
    10. Hanne Lamberts-Van Assche & Tine Compernolle, 2022. "Using Real Options Thinking to Value Investment Flexibility in Carbon Capture and Utilization Projects: A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1-24, February.
    11. Tian Zhao & Zhixin Liu, 2023. "Investment Timing Analysis of Hydrogen-Refueling Stations and the Case of China: Independent or Co-Operative Investment?," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(13), pages 1-17, June.
    12. Lei Zhu & Xing Yao & Xian Zhang, 2020. "Evaluation of cooperative mitigation: captured carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 25(7), pages 1261-1285, October.

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