IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leach, Andrew & Mason, Charles F. & Veld, Klaas van ‘t, 2011. "Co-optimization of enhanced oil recovery and carbon sequestration," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 893-912.
    2. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474, March.
    3. Krahé, Max & Heidug, Wolf & Ward, John & Smale, Robin, 2013. "From demonstration to deployment: An economic analysis of support policies for carbon capture and storage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 753-763.
    4. Lukas, Elmar & Welling, Andreas, 2014. "Timing and eco(nomic) efficiency of climate-friendly investments in supply chains," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(2), pages 448-457.
    5. Heindl, Peter & Wood, Peter J. & Jotzo, Frank, 2014. "Combining international cap-and-trade with national carbon taxes," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-086, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Nykvist, Björn, 2013. "Ten times more difficult: Quantifying the carbon capture and storage challenge," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 683-689.
    7. Häggquist, Elisabeth & Söderholm, Patrik, 2015. "The economic value of geological information: Synthesis and directions for future research," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 91-100.
    8. Conrad, Jon M. & Kotani, Koji, 2005. "When to drill? Trigger prices for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 273-286, November.
    9. Szolgayová, Jana & Golub, Alexander & Fuss, Sabine, 2014. "Innovation and risk-averse firms: Options on carbon allowances as a hedging tool," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 227-235.
    10. Esther W. Mezey & Jon M. Conrad, 2010. "Real Options in Resource Economics," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 33-52, October.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6790 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Wirl, Franz, 2006. "Consequences of irreversibilities on optimal intertemporal CO2 emission policies under uncertainty," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 105-123, May.
    13. Scott, Vivian, 2013. "What can we expect from Europe's carbon capture and storage demonstrations?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 66-71.
    14. Conrad, Jon M. & Kotani, Koji, 2007. "Erratum to "When to drill? Trigger prices for the arctic national wildlife refuge" [Resour. Energy Econ. 27(4) (2005) 273-286]," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 244-245, September.
    15. Abadie, Luis M. & Chamorro, José M., 2008. "European CO2 prices and carbon capture investments," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2992-3015, November.
    16. Somayeh Heydari & Nick Ovenden & Afzal Siddiqui, 2012. "Real options analysis of investment in carbon capture and sequestration technology," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 109-138, February.
    17. Klokk, Ø. & Schreiner, P.F. & Pagès-Bernaus, A. & Tomasgard, A., 2010. "Optimizing a CO2 value chain for the Norwegian Continental Shelf," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6604-6614, November.
    18. Postali, Fernando A.S. & Picchetti, Paulo, 2006. "Geometric Brownian Motion and structural breaks in oil prices: A quantitative analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 506-522, July.
    19. Reuter, Wolf Heinrich & Fuss, Sabine & Szolgayová, Jana & Obersteiner, Michael, 2012. "Investment in wind power and pumped storage in a real options model," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 2242-2248.
    20. Kemp, Alexander G. & Kasim, Sola, 2013. "The economics of CO2-EOR cluster developments in the UK Central North Sea," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1344-1355.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-22, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Compernolle, T. & Huisman, Kuno & Kort, Peter & Lavrutich, Maria & Nunes, Claudia & Thijssen, J.J.J., 2018. "Investment Decisions with Two-Factor Uncertainty," Discussion Paper 2018-003, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:123-137. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.