Occidental continues to pursue measures to manage and control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – while continuing to expand our operations – and to promote the viability of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration in oil and gas reservoirs. Underground injection of CO2, especially as practiced during enhanced oil recovery (EOR), is a ready and proven method for the large-scale geologic sequestration of CO2 that otherwise would be emitted to the atmosphere.
Occidental is the largest injector of CO2 for EOR in the Permian Basin, and one of the leaders globally in this technology. In 2015, we operated more than two dozen active CO2 flood projects, injecting more than half-a-trillion cubic feet of CO2 per year, or over 27 million metric tons. From this CO2, about 40 to 50 percent is newly sourced from Occidental and other commercial suppliers, and the remainder is recycled from producing wells. Over time, virtually all injected CO2 becomes sequestered in the oil and gas reservoir.
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) plan for simultaneous CO2 injection and sequestration for Occidental's Denver unit operations in Texas. This is the first-of-its-kind MRV Plan approved by the EPA and represents an important milestone in the development and commercialization of carbon capture, utilization and storage technology as an approach for long-term management of greenhouse gas emissions. The continuing use of natural sources of CO2 in EOR is essential to support investment in and expansion of infrastructure that can be used in the future to transport and inject CO2 from man-made sources.
The chart below presents the cumulative annual forecasted volume of CO2 stored at the Denver Unit for the period ending in 2021. The total cumulative anticipated stored volume of CO2 is approximately 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf), the annual equivalent to the CO2 emissions from nine coal-fired power plants.