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Hurdles exist using CO2 to boost oil output in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Houston research firm says significant barriers exist in using carbon dioxide to enhance oil recovery in North Dakota.

But HIS Inc. geologist Curtis Smith told the North Dakota Legislature’s interim Taxation Committee on Wednesday that the “long-term prize” for the state could be billions of extra barrels of oil.

The interim legislative committee is considering tax breaks for companies that develop technology to enhance oil recovery from existing wells.

Smith says pumping CO2 underground to bring more oil to the surface in North Dakota is unproven at present. Smith says such technology also is expensive. And he says there may not be enough CO2 available in the state to be used for all oil wells.

The Legislature paid $395,000 for the study. A full report is due in July.

Related: Groundbreaking planned for Wyoming carbon-conversion lab.

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