IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme


2nd Offshore Workshop

New TD 2The 2nd international workshop on offshore CCS was held in Beaumont Texas, 19-20 June. This was hosted by Lamar University and the BEG, and attracted 50 attendees from 9 countries to discuss developments for offshore transport and geological storage. It build on the conclusions and recommendations from the first workshop in 2016, continued the theme of ‘how to do’, and had sessions on how to find storage, monitoring developments, CO2-EOR potential offshore, and infrastructure options, with presentations from Norway, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Japan. New to all attendees were presentations on the US projects looking at offshore storage in the sedimentary basins in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and in basalts in the northern Pacific. Conclusions and recommendations were agreed, with a certain focus on infrastructure issues, these included to engage with operators of offshore infrastructure to make them aware of the opportunities from CCS and CO2-EOR.

Group photoThe workshop continued with a field trip to look at all the elements of an integrated CCS project: a large CO2 source at the Air Products capture project in Port Arthur, CO2 transport options including Denbury’s Green pipe and CO2 hub potential, and the geology for a potential storage site offshore, all of these being in close proximity in this part of south eastern Texas. The workshop concluded with meeting local dignitaries for an appreciation of the local industrial heritage. Beaumont was the location for ‘Spindletop’, the first large-scale oil find in the region which prompted the Gulf Coast oil boom and creation of many famous companies such as Texaco and Gulf Oil, and the resultant high density of refineries still to this day in the area. Initial feedback from international attendees was that the combination of the workshop and such a relevant field trip was extremely interesting for all.

The workshop came about to address a recommendation from the CSLF on offshore CCS, and with great timing the previous week the US DOE had issued an opportunity for funding for an offshore CCS partnership, which will enable progress to be continued in developing offshore CCS in the USA.

IEAGHG contributed to the organisation of the workshop as chair of the International Steering Committee, and will publish the report of the workshop. Following a phrase from the 1st workshop, a ‘deep dive’ into offshore CCS was certainly achieved with the second.


Monitoring Network meeting in Traverse City

New TD 2The 12th Monitoring Network meeting concluded on Thursday 15 June after three days of the latest updates on monitoring technology developments and applications, healthy discussions, a group exercise, and a field trip to the MRCSP project. Many thanks to Battelle and Core Energy for hosting the meeting. It was so clear how monitoring has advanced and is evolving from the early R&D projects to application now at commercial-scale projects. The learning and experiences from the early projects has enabled more refined, optimised and reduced level of monitoring at larger projects, resulting in more cost-effective monitoring overall. This was seen from the SECARB Cranfield project to Petra Nova, from IBDP to ICCS Project at Decatur, and at Quest which has learnt from across the USA’s RSCP projects. We also saw collaborative developments offshore, UK and EU with Japan, and USA with Japan. Playing a central role in these technology transfers and collaborations is the IEAGHG Monitoring Network, where much cross-fertilization is facilitated. These developments also demonstrate the value and resultant benefits from US government and EU and UK funding into monitoring R,D&D. As a backdrop to the meeting, the same week saw new funding announced by US DOE in a call for further offshore and monitoring developments.

A theme for this Monitoring Network meeting was learning from oil and gas operations. This was successful by design from presentations and discussions, but the learning turned out to go both ways, thanks to the healthy and inquisitive participation by oil and gas industry companies, some of them new to IEAGHG Monitoring Network meetings, some of them sponsoring the meeting.

In terms of offshore CCS, new at this meeting were developments in offshore sensors and their deployment systems, including the sister vessel of the UK’s famous Boaty McBoatface AUV, prompting a suggestion that the CCS version could be named Carbon McCarbonface.

Overall, another productive IEAGHG experts meeting. A report of the meeting will be published in due course.



Monica - BlogI attended the TCCS-9 conference by NCCS – International CCS Research Centre under auspices of NTNU and SINTEF. This conference takes place every two years since 2003 and run for two days in Trondheim. A total of 115 presentations and 10 keynotes were delivered, and topics covered carbon capture, transport, storage and utilization. Cross-cutting issues as power and industry sectors, policies, public acceptance, collaborative projects and CCS status in different locations were also presented.

Initial keynotes gave an overview of objectives within the Paris Agreement and the Norwegian Strategy. CICERO, ZERO SINTEF, Statoil, Gassnova and the Norwegian ministry of Petroleum and Energy commented on the role of CCS in Norway, highlighting the need of CCS as part of the energetic symbiosis. Moreover, views on the development of CCS in USA were given by DOE, who presented few projects as for example the Kemper site. However, behind Norway, USA has not advanced much in CCS applied to the cement industry. Northern Gas Networks commented on the H21 Leeds City Gate project in UK and the speakers agreed on the golden opportunity to play cards right and the ambition not only with regards to 2020 but for 2050. CCS has been proved for more than 20 years and the strategy to achieve a cost-effective solution will be based on Research+ Development+ Demonstration.

First round of research presentations focused on solvents, membranes, CCS in intensive industries and storage projects. I joined the session on new solvents, where few talks were focused on amines and NTNU presented their research on imidazoles. Results on ionic solvents were also showed by Tsinghua University and CSIRO. During the afternoon, pilot and large-scale testing, novel technologies, chemical looping, public acceptance, EOR and shallow monitoring were covered. I attended the session on pilot and large-scale testing, and this session covered multiple technologies, from emerging solvents (precipitating and non-aqueous), to interesting experience in Saskatchewan. A fascinating highlight was given from Colin Campbell on the need of standardized measurements. Additionally, the speech on the issues found during their demonstration was an exciting overview on real problems during implementation. It must also be noted the pilot plant demonstration on membranes for post-combustion, presented by the group of Emerita Professor May-Britt Hagg (NTNU), who received the SINTEF and NTNU CCS Award to recognise her career, emphasising her role in business and the recent exclusive license agreement with Air Product.

The second day opened interesting discussions on the role of CCU on mitigating climate change, presented by Imperial College London. The keynote from Christian Michelsen Research AS highlighted the need of global collaboration, while RITE addressed their talk on their research lines. The following sessions were focused on novel systems, modelling, transport, pre-combustion, CCUS, negative emissions, storage and international R&D. I joined the novel systems and modelling talks, where the flexibility of operations was covered as topic to reach long-term economic solutions on CCS. Moreover, new configurations were presented as strategies to obtain more efficient CCS systems.

I believe that the TCCS-9 was a good opportunity to see recent advances on remarkable international research. Discussions on financial aspects on CCS, how to make it profitable or when it will take place opened interesting debates. The inclusion of CCS within a new energy system instead of considering it as unique technology to achieve the decarbonisation goals was noticeable, although still more work is needed across technical, policy and society areas.

More information about this conference can be found in:


CTCN Workshop

New TD 2I attended a workshop by the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) at their headquarters in Copenhagen 22-23 May. CTCN was established as the operational arm of the UNFCCC’s ‘Technology Mechanism’ and has been given increased emphasis by the Paris Agreement. IEAGHG was one of the earlier members of the CTCN’s Network and have undertaken a few activities with CTCN. There are now around 300 members, and CTCN has received over 180 requests from developing countries for assistance so far. We were originally interested in this workshop as it was announced as an R,D&D workshop, and we have been used by IEA as a good example of an international collaborative R&D programme. Although the workshop subsequently evolved to a focus on ‘first-of-a-kind’ technologies and financing, we still considered that we would have useful contributions to provide from CCS experiences especially in developing countries. The workshop explored opportunities for CTCN to support climate technologies (both mitigation and adaptation) drawing upon successful examples, and identified means of de-risking finance in such technologies. CTCN asked us to moderate and report on a working group session on mapping expertise and gaps and challenges. We were able to share relevant examples from our area, and we also shared the CCS activities by our member in South Africa as an example for other countries to learn from in a ‘South-South’ interaction.

This was an interesting meeting, with many rich discussions, and seeing the issues and challenges for a broad range of mitigation and adaptation technologies, not just CCS. It was well attended with participants from a large range of countries, and well organised by CTCN.

For more information on this meeting see and .


Shell Quest CCS Project Visit

Following our 51st Executive Committee meeting of IEAGHG members in Edmonton, Alberta, Shell invited attendees to visit the Shell Canada Quest CCS Project. This was a great opportunity to visit this large-scale CCS demonstration plant now in operation, and, with the SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 CCS project, one of two major CCS projects located in Canada. As the first CCS project applied to oil sands operations, it was designed to capture and safely store an average of one million tonnes of CO2 per year. Launched in November 2015, the project is already on track to store its 2 millionth tonne of CO2 within the next couple of months – ahead of schedule.

The group were told about the process of planning, construction and subsequent operation that led to a successful project. Indeed, the process needed skilful and careful management. It quickly became obvious that they would not only need to show to politicians and public alike that the technology would operate effectively, reliably and safely, but they would also need to engage them of the social, economic and environmental benefits of the project. Following local meetings, coffee mornings and educational events that began well before project construction, the value of the project was recognised.

The Quest CCS project was built to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by capturing one-third of the CO2 emissions from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader, transporting it via an underground pipeline 65 km north and injecting it into a deep saline formation 2,000 metres below the surface.
The storage reservoir consists of a thick sandstone formation just above the Precambrian crystalline basement. It was deposited in an ancient near-shore marine environment close to a river system. The rock formation has good porosity and permeability properties complemented by an excellent shale seal which will retain the trapped CO2. The area also benefits from an evaporite formation stratigraphically above the shale which provides a secondary impermeable barrier.

The Quest storage site is monitored constantly in the storage reservoir with seismic and pressure, and above which includes water chemistry in three different aquifers above the storage complex and a laser system which can pick up atmospheric anomalies across the site. Microseismicity is also monitored. Data from monitoring systems is relayed back to the control centre at the Scotford facility. The monitoring systems have been designed to detect subtle changes and offer reassurance to local communities as well as those with a more general interest in the technology.

The project had been working extremely well, from both capture and storage perspectives. Not only had Shell’s target for CO2 capture been exceeded but the favourable subsurface geology meant that less wells had been needed, and they have further improved the cost-effectiveness of the monitoring. And, importantly for the future of similar projects, they estimate that, if Quest were built again today, it would cost 20-30% less to construct and operate.

Members of the IEAGHG ExCo were given a tour of the refinery and capture facility before being taken north to visit one of the injection and monitoring sites. Being on-site enabled a greater appreciation of this world-leading project, complimented by extensive and informative Q&A sessions by the members and IEAGHG staff with the Shell team. Many thanks to Shell for the visit.


12th CO2 GeoNet Open Forum

Lydia webLast week I was fortunate enough to be able to attend CO2GeoNet’s Forum, this year with the encouraging focus of ‘Driving CCS towards Implementation’. CO2GeoNet is a European Network body that currently comprises 26 research institutes from 19 European countries, and brings together over 300 researchers with the multidisciplinary expertise needed to address all aspects of CO2 storage.

The two day conference began by looking at the role of CCS in national mitigation strategies. A keynote by Niels Berghout from the IEA set the tone of the day, showing the significant progress CCS has made in the last 20 years (especially given the ups and downs that have been experienced in policy and political support). It was emphasised that CCS must now go beyond ‘clean coal’ to meet the challenges governments face to meet the ambitious Paris Agreement targets. This includes reducing emissions from industrial processes alongside power related sources, a task which is unlikely to be achievable without CCS.

A regular discussion throughout the forum was that to implement CCS, there needs to be an incentive and the motivation of avoiding climate change alone is currently insufficient without more economic benefits. IPCC reports have indicated the wide-spread commercial scale deployment of CCS is required as soon as possible in order to avoid the ‘2°C Scenario’. Currently this is not happening as quickly as it needs to with industry and government both pointing the finger at who is meant to be the driving force in implementing CCS commercially.

The second day focused on showcasing results from EU projects and the lessons learnt from international CCS projects. Global perspectives included updates from Shell (Quest), CO2CRC (Otway), RITE and the Kansas Geological Survey. The European project updates included talks from Ketzin, UK GeoEnergy Test Bed and Sintef of the Rotterdam Nucleus. Gassnova ended the day with an update on the upcoming Norwegian CCS projects and specifically the Smeaheia site. It was great to hear about so many different CCS projects with 22 large-scale CCS projects now in operation or under construction globally and a combined CO2 capture capacity around 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

One of the main conclusions that emerged from the forum was that to reduce the counter party risk (which is currently increasing the price of projects) there is the need for regional co-ordinating bodies and a hub and cluster approach. In particular, shared transport systems were considered essential in driving CCS forward.

Numerous workshops were held after the forum with a personal highlight being “Bringing CCS to new regions” looking at how to bring CCS to developing countries. The panel discussion highlighted the particular importance of communication and the language used when promoting CCS. The potential CCS has for producing more jobs and enabling cleaner industry needs to be the focus of future discussions rather than stressing the importance of climate change, as short-term economics are likely to play an even more vital role than they currently do in Europe.

Overall the forum provided informative lively debate on how to drive CCS forward, and how the incentives would vary from country to country. Carbon capture technologies have been tested, safe CO2 storage has been proven and CCS is considered by many as essential for climate change mitigation. The passion for CCS from those attending was clear and we must hope that Europe’s policy and regulations to support its implementation are to follow.


IEAGHG 51st ExCo

Becky Kemp cropThe 51st bi-annual IEAGHG ExCo meeting has come to a close in the exciting Canadian city of Edmonton. The two day IEAGHG Executive Committee meeting began on Tuesday 9th May and was held in the wonderful Westin hotel, Edmonton. This regular meeting is held twice yearly, at different locations across the world each time, and gives IEAGHG an opportunity to provide our Members and Sponsors with programme progress, an update of recently completed and on-going activities and to approve any future work to be undertaken. It also gives our Members a chance to report back to the Programme on their activities over the last 6 months and any activities planned for the near future.

51 ExCoThe Programme’s ExCo Members were given a really interesting presentation from Wilfried Maas on Shell’s activities and also an overview of IEAGHG’s recent activities which included outcomes from GHGT-13 and an update on the High Temperature Solid Looping Cycles network along with an interesting update from Juho Lipponen on IEA’s activities. Tim Dixon eagerly presented on COP22 and COP23. There were also presentations on reports which are on-going and also proposals given for potential new studies for IEAGHG to carry out.

Members agreed to take forward 4 new studies this year – so do stay tuned to see the progress in these various areas; more details will come soon.

The ExCo dinner at this meeting was held in the hotel itself, where ExCo were treated to a private dining experience. Members were all very eager to discuss the outcomes of the first day and to have a chance to relax and enjoy the wonderful food.

A full-length article on the 51st IEAGHG ExCo meeting will be available in the upcoming June edition of the IEAGHG Greenhouse News.


Boaty McBoatface meets CCS

New TD 2I went to Portland Harbour to see the results of the harbour trials of the UK Energy Technologies Institute funded marine Monitoring Measurement and Verification (MMV) system which has been developed for CO2 storage site surveillance. This has a strong emphasis on the utilisation of AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles – now famous from “Boaty McBoatface”).

L MMVThe purpose of this project is to develop and demonstrate a cost-effective integrated MMV system for CO2 and environmental assessments in the marine environment. The project is led by Fugro in collaboration with Sonardyne, with input from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the British Geological Survey (BGS), Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Southampton. As well as adapting an AUV to mount the required sensors and equipment, Sonardyne have developed and tested two Landers with this project.

The detection performance in these shallow harbour trials is very impressive. The next stage is sea trials in the greater depths of the North Sea.

These developments will enable more optimised and cost-effective environmental monitoring at CO2 storage sites offshore.

And yes, if you were wondering, this AUV is a sister vessel to the now famous “Boaty McBoatface” AUV which is now on deployment in the Antarctic (see ).

Many thanks to Rob Hines of Fugro, Graham Brown and Rob Crook of Sonardyne, and the rest of their team at Portland Harbour for an interesting and informative visit. We look forward to hearing more on these world-leading developments at our Monitoring Network meeting and the Offshore CCS Workshop in June in the USA.

For more information see IEAGHG Information Paper 2017-IP18 and .


Advancing Environmental Monitoring for Offshore CO2 Storage Projects.

New TD 2The STEMM-CCS project held its first annual meeting last week. This is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project that will develop and test environmental monitoring at a controlled release of CO2 in the North Sea. The project is coordinated by The UK’s National Oceanography Centre, with a consortium of partners representing the leading marine science organisations in the EU and Norway. IEAGHG is on the Stakeholder Advisory Board.

STEMMThis first annual meeting was hosted by GEOMAR in Kiel. Good progress is being made especially on sensor development, and planning is well advanced on the development of the engineering and techniques to collect data and the planning of the research cruises using UK and German research ships. GEOMAR also hosted a visit to their marine research facilities to see up close some survey hardware which will be used.

This is an exciting and unique project that will advance offshore environmental monitoring, specifically CO2 leakage detection and quantification, and CO2 storage site characterisation. More details will be shared and discussed at the forthcoming IEAGHG Monitoring Network meeting in June 2017 in Michigan.

For more information and updates see .


New Report: 2016-10 – Techno-Economic Evaluation of Retrofitting CCS in a Market Pulp Mill and an Integrated Pulp and Board Mill.

Stanley-Santos cropGlobally, the pulp and paper (P&P) industry is the fifth largest industrial source of CO2 emissions. Recently, the Paris Agreement has highlighted the target of achieving below 1.5oC temperature rise. In order to achieve this goal, bio-CCS has an important role to play to achieve this target.

In a pulp mill, the CO2 emissions arise mainly from its recovery boiler, multi-fuel boiler and lime kiln. The majority of this CO2 originates from the combustion of biomass, which renders it as carbon neutral if the biomass used as raw materials of the pulp production is grown and harvested in a sustainable manner. If the CO2 emission from pulp and paper industry is captured and permanently stored, then this could be considered as a potential carbon sink. As such, the pulp and paper industry could be regarded as an industry with potential for the early demonstration of both bio-CCS and industrial CCS.

This study provides an assessment of the performance and costs of retrofitting CCS in a Nordic Kraft Pulp Mill (Base Case 1A) and an Integrated Pulp and Board Mill (Base Case 1B). Different configurations of capturing CO2 (90%) from the flue gases of the recovery boiler, multi-fuel boiler and lime kiln were examined.

Key messages:

  •  This study has established the baseline information in evaluating the techno-economics of retrofitting post-combustion CO2 capture plant using MEA as solvent to (a) an existing Kraft pulp mill producing 800,000 adt pulp annually and (b) an existing integrated pulp and board mill producing 740,000 adt pulp and 400,000 adt 3-ply folding boxboard annually.
  • It should be highlighted that performance of retrofitting CCS in an existing industrial complex is very site specific. This is also true if CCS is deployed to an existing pulp mill.
  • For the market pulp mill, the excess steam produced by the mill is sufficient to cover the additional demand from the CCS plant. For an integrated pulp and board mill, there is less excess steam available for the CCS plant, therefore the addition an auxiliary boiler is required.
  • The retrofit of CCS increases the levelised cost of pulp (LCOP) produced by the market (standalone) pulp mill in the range of 20 to 154 €/adt (4 – 30%), and increases the LCOP produced by the integrated pulp and board mill in the range of 22 to 191 €/adt (4 – 37%). This translates to a CO2 avoided cost (CAC) between 62 and 92 €/t CO2 for the pulp mill and between 82 and 92 €/t CO2 for the integrated pulp and board mill.
  • This study assessed the sensitivity of the cost if incentives to the renewable electricity credit, CO2 taxes, and negative emissions credit are provided. It can be concluded that the most favourable route to encourage the pulp industry to deploy bio-CCS is by providing sufficient incentives for their negative emissions.


Climate Change for kids

67 JG imageIt is pleasing to see that Ladybird Books (which publishes mass-market children's books) has published a title on Climate Change which has been co-authored by HRH the Prince of Wales.

The book, Climate Change, provides a short-format guide to the key scientific facts central to climate change. It explains the history, dangers and challenges of global warming and explores possible solutions to limit future changes to the climate. The book discusses the causes of climate disruption, such as heatwaves, floods and other extreme weather, and the consequences for people, wildlife and businesses.

ladybird-170x300This book should provide an educational reference point for young children on the issue of climate change and should be widely welcomed. And of course purchased by all those who want to see Climate Change education started from the grass roots level, for their children and grand children


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