What to Do With CO2
by Franklin L. Foster, Ph.D.
Global Warming! Climate Change! Greenhouse Gases! Are these the new alarms of Chicken Little? Environmental knights (e.g.. Al Gore) are girding up to fight the new dragons of the 21st Century and the petroleum industry will certainly be among them. While the problems may be over-hyped, [oil production processes contribute less than 3% of global greenhouse gases], and some of the proposed "solutions" may turn out to be counter-productive, [grain based ethanol production and processing consumes 3.5 times the energy it produces]; never-the-less, political realities mean that these issues are not going to go away. It may be far better for the oil and gas sector to react pro-actively to the political/social momentum, rather than reactively and defensively.
As it turns out, if we are serious about reducing CO2, the oil and gas industry have the expertise and technology to accomplish this in a big way, through, for example, various forms of carbon sequestration. There are areas where the oil and gas industry can become part of the solution, via for example, providing carbon sequestration which can be used to increase oil production while, at the same time, possibly, in the mad-cap world of "carbon taxes", allowing oil and gas companies to earn revenue in new ways.