Can Geoscientists Resolve the CCS Paradox?
- Tore A. Torp (Statoil)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 30 - 31
- 2011. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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R&D Grand Challenges - This is the fourth in a series of articles on the great challenges facing the oil and gas industry as outlined by the SPE Research and Development (R&D) Committee. The R&D challenges comprise broad upstream business needs: increasing recovery factors, in-situ molecular manipulation, carbon capture and sequestration, produced water management, higher resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons, and the environment. The articles in this series examine each of these challenges in depth. The R&D Grand Challenges Series, comprising articles published in JPT during 2011 and 2012, is available as a collection on OnePetro (SPE-163061-MS).
International energy and climate organizations have found carbon capture and storage (CCS) to be a promising technology to resolve the squeeze between fast-growing global energy needs and global warming. Even environmental organizations say that making our energy use more efficient and building enough new renewable energy capacity takes too long. We need to get the CCS working to curb the growing greenhouse gas emissions if too large a climate change is to be avoided.
CCS consists of three major interdependent steps:
- Capture the carbon, CO2 out of flue gases, either from the stack of a power plant or the blast furnace top gas in iron making.
- Transport it by pipeline or ship it underground.
- Safely keep it in a storage site for thousands of years.
The technology for each of these steps has been used for decades in the industry, mostly in oil and gas. The important change is the scale—from about 100,000 to 1 million metric tons per year in the past. Today, we see the need for handling 10 million tons in each installation and for perhaps several thousand installations. The amount of CO2 produced from one power station varies from 2 million to 10 million tons; a modern iron-making blast furnace emits up to 10 million tons per year. The costs of the technologies for a large-scale CO2 handling chain are estimated to be split roughly 75%-10%-15% for capture-transport-storage.
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