Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA logo

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 TDcroppedAround 300 delegates are attending the 14th Annual CCUS Conference in Pittsburgh. It opened with respects being paid to Ed Helminski who died suddenly and unexpectedly late last year, especially in recognition and acknowledgement of his passion for this conference.

The first keynote was given by the new Director of NETL, Grace Bochenek, who described NETL’s research programs across all technologies related to CCUS. This was followed by Franklin Orr, Under Secretary for Science at US DOE, who celebrated that DOE funded projects have now achieved 10 mt of CO2 injected, and concluded with the message that “technology leads and informs policy”. Juho Lippenen gave an interesting talk on the role of CCS, with new perspectives on the conflicting views of stakeholders.

News of an interesting development in the debate around CO2-EOR transition to storage in the US was revealed by Steve Melzer. There has been much discussion and some concerns around the EPA’s draft guidance document on transition from Class II (for oil extraction) to Class VI wells (for storage). The US EPA have now just issued a Memorandum in order to clarify key principles in transitioning from Class II to Class VI. This confirms that use of anthropogenic CO2 for EOR does not mean a Class VI permit is needed, and also acknowledges that CO2 storage does occur in CO2-EOR and can be permitted under a Class II permit. The key factor to determine whether a Class VI permit is needed will be increased risk to drinking water aquifers where Class II requirements cannot adequately manage this risk. This Memorandum has been well received by project operators in the USA.

Other interesting talks of note on the first day included Sue Hovorka on offshore storage geology globally in terms of similarities of and differences between offshore sedimentary basins, and Mario Calado of PSE on whole-chain modelling of the Peterhead project in terms of dynamic operating scenarios such as start-up and shut-down, and improvements to processes in order to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

At the conference, IEAGHG is presenting on the Cluster Projects study, on how CCS is viewed in the global climate picture, and an update on the London Protocol.