Missoula Current

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead joined 12 other states Friday in releasing a report that points to new opportunities to capture carbon dioxide for use in enhanced oil recovery with geologic storage.

The report summarizes the existing policy landscape and market factors that impact carbon capture at existing industrial and energy facilities, including Montana's Bell Creek Oil Field and the Colstrip power plant.

“Capture of CO2 from power plants for use in enhanced oil recovery can provide economic, environmental and national security benefits long into the future,” Bullock said. “The report Governor Mead and I are releasing today will help inform policy makers and the business community in how we can shape our energy future by design, not happenstance.”

The report's recommendations include a targeted package of federal incentives for capturing carbon dioxide in enhanced oil recovery, as well as expanding an existing tax credit for storage of captured CO2.

“The governor's commitment to the development and use of this critical technology should be commended,” said Al Ekblad with the Montana AFL-CIO. “This technology will be essential to protecting high-wage union jobs, while also substantially tackling climate change.”

According to the Governor's Office, Montana currently has enhanced oil operations in the Bell Creek Oil Field, which uses CO2 from a natural gas processing plant in Wyoming.

Bell Creek alone has the potential to produce an additional 40 to 50 million barrels of incremental oil while capturing millions of tons of CO2, Bullock said.

The governor said he's also working with the U.S. Department of Energy to explore new opportunities to capture carbon at the Colstrip power plant.