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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

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IEA GHG Meetings in France

The 24th Executive Committee meeting of the IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme (IEA GHG) was held in Paris in October2003. Following the meeting a one day seminar entitled "CO2 Sequestration: the green-way forward" was organised by Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) and held in the amphitheatre of their research centre at Rueil-Malmaison. The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness within France of the technical status and progress being made on CO2 capture and storage worldwide. The seminar was attended by some 160 delegates, drawn largely from France but including representatives from 17 different countries.

The seminar was opened by Olivier Appert, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IFP who emphasised that energy demand was projected to grow significantly in the next 30 years and CO2 emissions will grow accordingly. There is therefore a need to reduce emissions by either increased energy efficiency, use of lower carbon fuels or by CO2 capture and storage. The opening was then followed by a series of presentations giving different perspectives on the status and future research needs for CO2 capture and storage. Key messages from these presentations are given below.

Petros Pilavachi of the European Commission (EC) Research Directorate stated that in the EC's view CO2 sequestration was not considered a cost effective option in the context of European efforts to meet its Kyoto commitment. Further research was needed to allow CO2 capture and storage to become cost competitive with other abatement measures. A priority research action was to investigate ways of reducing the cost of capture from its current cost of €50-60/t CO2 to below €20-30/t CO2. However, post-Kyoto, when deeper cuts would be needed, all abatement options would need to be considered. It was also clear that the renewable capacity in Europe would not be sufficient to make significant future cuts in CO2 emissions. Jacques Labeyrie of ADEME emphasised fossil fuels will continue to be the main fuel source to meet primary energy demand for many years to come, whilst it may take 50 years to develop a carbon-free economy based on hydrogen. CO2 capture and storage can play a key role in the transition to a hydrogen economy.

The major challenges for CO2 capture and storage were outlined by Alexander Rojey of IFP, which are that we need to store large quantities of CO2 in underground reservoirs whilst ensuring the integrity of these reservoirs, and to do this cost-effectively which means reducing the cost of CO2 capture. Christian Fouillac of BRGM stressed that, to demonstrate the safe storage of CO2, you need a combination of risk assessment prior to injection and monitoring (both sub-surface and at the surface) post-injection. BRGM have studied a natural CO2 reservoir at Montmiral in France to help gain an understanding of the geological criteria needed to effectively store CO2 for geological timeframes (Greenhouse Issues number 53).

The methodology for identifying potential leaks from geological storage reservoirs that is being developed by TNO was outlined by Ipo Ritsema. Initial modelling work of potential leakage from geological storage reservoirs by TNO indicated that CO2 would not be expected to migrate to the surface for at least 1300 years in a worst case scenario and sustained leakage over 3000 years would only result in a total loss of 10% of the injected CO2. Pierre Le Thiez of IFP reiterated that to build public confidence in CO2 capture and storage it would be necessary to demonstrate that storage was safe and, in the event of leakage, that the capability was there to measure and control it if necessary. He also stressed the need for the development of an inventory of geological storage sites in Europe.

Neils Peter Christensen of GEUS then outlined the work of the EC supported GESTCO project that had built a database of storage opportunities in North West Europe, which it was planned would be extended to Eastern Europe in a new project called CASTOR which would hopefully commence in 2004.

Bjorn Berger of Statoil, who are the operators of the only commercial CO2 injection project in Europe, gave an overview of the Sleipner operation. At Sleipner about 1 million tonnes of CO2 have been re-injected underground annually since 1996 (Greenhouse Issues number 48). He also presented details of two planned projects: the Snøhvit field development in the Barents Sea (Greenhouse Issues number 56) and the Gullfaks project in the central North Sea and discussed the challenges Statoil are facing to bring these projects to realisation. Paul Freund of IEA GHG, in the final presentation of the seminar, hjosirljosirted other projects around the world involving existing, or new, CO2 capture and storage operations. These activities include: the In-Salah project in Algeria, Gorgon in Australia (Greenhouse Issues number 66), CRUST in the Netherlands (Greenhouse Issues number 58), the Mountaineer project in USA (Greenhouse Issues number 64) and Weyburn in Canada (Greenhouse Issues number 61 )

Following the seminar the IEA GHG Executive Committee members visited IFP's research laboratories. The tour included visits to the Reservoir Engineering division and the Vehicle engine test laboratories. In reservoir engineering, some of the extensive research equipment used to develop detailed knowledge of the physical flow properties in porous media was demonstrated. Equipment viewed included an X-ray CAT scanner used to allow the visualisation of in-situ saturations and a hjosir pressure/hjosir temperature (300 bar, 120°C) capillary pressure device used to study saturation at reservoir conditions. In the Engine laboratories, vehicle emission test stands were demonstrated, one housing a new hybrid electric/petrol engine vehicle. Other test stands visited included those looking at the optimising of fuel use in internal combustion engines and one testing a new development of turbocharged petrol engines which aims to reduce engine size and cut emissions by 20% compared to conventional engines.

The IEA GHG Executive Committee members also visited the Beynes natural gas storage facility, operated by Gaz de France. The Beynes facility is situated 25 km east of Versailles, in open farmed countryside and is surrounded by several small villages. The Beynes gas storage facility consists of two underground storage reservoirs, the Beynes Superier which was commissioned in 1956 and the Beynes Profond which was commissioned in 1975, both of which are aquifers, at depths of 405 m and 740 m respectively. The upper reservoir can store 405 million m3 of natural gas whilst the lower can 726 million m3. The members were given a detailed tour of the surface facilities and control room.

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IEA EOR and IEA GHG Meetings in Canada

The 24th Annual workshop of the IEA Collaborative Project on Enhanced Oil Recovery (IEA EOR) Agreement was held in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in September 2003. The workshop was a two day event at which the members of the IEA EOR agreement present the results of work undertaken in their own countries under the 5 key tasks of the IEA EOR agreement.

Following the workshop a joint symposium was held on CO2 Geological Storage which was organised jointly by IEA EOR and IEA GHG. This collaborative exercise allowed a cross exchange of information between the two agreements relating to enhanced oil recovery activities and CO2 storage in geological formations. The symposium was attended by some 90 delegates drawn from countries such as: Canada, USA, Norway, USA, Mexico, Japan, China, Russia, Austria, Hungary, France, Venezuela and Malaysia.

In total 15 presentations were made at the symposium. The list of topics and authors is given below:

After the symposium the members of the IEA EOR had the opportunity to visit the Weyburn oil field operated by EnCana, which is injecting CO2 as part of a miscible CO2 flood. The fate of the injected CO2 in the oil field is being studied by the Weyburn Monitoring and Storage Project (Greenhouse Issues number 61).

Further details of the IEA EOR agreement and their activities can be found on their web site at, or by contacting Anna-Inger Eide at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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IPCC Special Report on CO2 Capture and Storage - Call for Expert Reviewers

The reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are characterised by broad involvement of as many scientists, engineers and other stakeholders as possible. This is reflected in the large number of authors working on the reports, and by the thousands of Expert Reviewers that have critically reviewed the draft versions.

The IPCC Special Report on carbon dioxide capture and storage is looking for Expert Reviewers to review the First-Order-Draft. Registering as an Expert Reviewer is without obligation and means that the First-Order-Draft will be circulated to you on 1st March 2004, along with a form for comments. Approximately two months are available for the Expert Review phase. The IPCC requests its reviewers to be attentive and very critical towards eventual biases in the Report, towards redundancies and towards factual errors or assumptions. You will also be requested to give comments of a more general nature. You yourself determine how much time to spend, as the registration does not oblige you to do anything. The authors of the Special Report will discuss and process all officially submitted review comments during their meeting in June 2004. Review Editors will see to it that the comments are processed in an appropriate manner. During the Government and Expert Review, in September and October 2004, you will be invited to review the Second-Order-Draft. Both reviews will be anonymous.

The Technical Support Unit of the IPCC Working Group III invites everyone who has interest in, or knowledge of, CO2 capture and storage to become an Expert Reviewer and to contribute to the production of a balanced scientific assessment of CO2 capture and storage. There is particular need for expertise in related aspects such as legal and regulatory issues, public perception, environmental impacts and safety, system modelling, or inventories and emission reduction accounting.

For inquiries, please refer to Ms. Heleen de Coninck (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel: +31 224 564316). More information on the IPCC, the review procedures and the Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage can be found on under Working Group III Activities.

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Carbon Storage Experimental Facility: The Teapot Dome Test Center

By Julio Friedmann, University of Maryland

The success of geological carbon storage will depend in part on advances in geology, geophysics and geochemistry in the context of large scale subsurface injection projects. A new experimental field facility in the USA, the Teapot Dome National Geological Carbon Storage Test Center, will focus on a suite of geoscience approaches aimed at maximizing carbon storage and reducing risk of leakage. The test center, announced this October, will serve as a flagship national and international facility to conduct field experiments within a well understood geological framework. The field is owned by the US Government and operated by DOE as the Naval Petroleum Reserve #3 and the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC). Participating institutions include the Univ. of Wyoming, Colorado School of Mines, the Univ. of Maryland, and five National Labs (Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, Idaho National Engineering and Environment Lab, Los Alamos, and Sandia). Partner companies include Anadarko Petroleum and

The Teapot Dome center's primary purpose will be to serve as a platform for field experiments aimed at providing new science and technology for geological carbon storage in general. The field contains over 1600 wells, with a range of logging tools and cores, which serve as the primary data set. The recoverable reserves include 600 million barrels of oil and 0.5 billion cubic feet of gas. The field also has over 100 years of production data, including the results from steam and water floods and a recently acquired 3D seismic survey. As such, Teapot Dome provides a hjosir-resolution, stable platform for long term experiments (7-10 years) as well as hjosir-risk experiments and novel approaches.

The center first became possible when Anadarko Petroleum Company announced a large CO2-based EOR project at their Salt Creek field near Casper, WY. To accomplish the flood, Anadarko is extending the existing CO2 pipelines from ExxonMobil's Shute Creek gas processing facility to provide 125 million cubic feet/day to Salt Creek (roughly 2.2 million tons of CO2/yr). By the end of the project, they hope to recover an additional 150 million barrels of oil and store roughly 55 million tons of CO2. Teapot Dome is adjacent to Salt Creek and part of the Salt Creek structural trend of asymmetric anticlines. As such, it presents a unique opportunity to compare EOR approaches with those aimed at maximizing carbon storage in an oil field. Plans include construction of a short pipeline spur to Teapot Dome for use in carbon storage experiments, with initial major injection beginning in 2005 or 2006 on the order of 500 tons CO2/day

The field itself contains nine stratigraphic units that bear oil, and at least six that bear water. The depth of potential injection targets ranges from 500 to 8000 ft, and as such could contain CO2 as a gas or supercritical fluid. Thermal gradient is roughly 1ºC/100 ft (30.5m), although some deeper units show elevated water temperatures. Target permeability ranges from >300 mD to <1 mD, providing nearly 3 orders of magnitude permeability change. The field includes both siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs, and a wide range of depositional systems including eolian, fluvial, tidal, deltaic, and shoreface units, some with significant fracture permeability. As such, the field provides an astonishing geological, geophysical, and geochemical range – by far the largest of any experimental facility. It also can examine questions of hydrocarbon miscibility, which can affect both total storage and ultimate recovery.

Teapot is well suited for a range of geophysical and geochemical techniques that could be used to monitor the distribution and migration rate of CO2 in the subsurface. The exceptional knowledge of reservoir geometry, chemistry, and petrophysics improves the reliability and calibration of different methods and allows for direct validation. Measurement, monitoring, and verification (MMV) technologies will include multi-component 4D seismic surveys, vertical seismic profiling, cross-well seismic tomography, and non-traditional geophysical technologies such as electrical resistance tomography (ERT) and downhole tri-axial microseismic arrays. Geochemical techniques will include soil chemistry surveys, well-head gas chromatography, noble gas isotopic tracer studies, other tracers (such as perfluorocarbons), and repeated brine, matrix, and cap rock sampling. The MMV technologies will place special emphasis on the detection of leakage from the subsurface as well as monitoring the fluid migration front at depth.

The potential impact of this facility on national and international carbon sequestration efforts is likely to be very large. Due to the specific geology of the field, results from Teapot Dome could be immediately applied to other carbon storage and EOR efforts within the Rocky Mountains region. Without question, many of the results could be applied to geological carbon storage efforts in California, the Gulf Coast region, and other US and international basins. For these very reasons, the Teapot Dome facilities would serve as an excellent training center for government, academic, and industrial investigators. We anticipate the formal introduction of such training within the next two years, roughly at the time of major initial injection. Results of experiments will all be in the public domain, and we anticipate broad distribution of results.

Please contact any of these three individuals for further information. S. Julio Friedmann, Dept. of Geology, Univ. Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-4211, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel: +1 301 405 4087 Dag Nummedal, Inst. of Energy Research, Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, 82071-4068, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Vicki Stamp, Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center, 907 N. Poplar St., Casper, WY, 82601, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Carbothermic Production: A Revolution in the Aluminium Industry?

By Petter Haugneland and Lynn Nygaard

Traditionally, the production of aluminium has relied on the so-called Hall-Héroult process. Kai Johansen, Vice President R&D at Elkem ASA Research, notes that while this process is still reliable and superior to the other methods that have been tried over the years, it is energy-intensive and costly – particularly compared to the production of competing materials such as steel and plastic. He argues that for aluminium to maintain its current market share and increase its applications in the automotive industry, construction industry, and packaging industry, production costs must be reduced. "It has long been known that carbothermic production of aluminium has the potential to reduce these costs," he says.

The first studies of production of aluminium using carbothermic reduction were carried out more than 100 years ago, and today a collaborative effort between Elkem ASA and the American company Alcoa aims to realize its full potential through a new technology called the Advanced Reactor Process (ARP). This technology promises to not only make aluminium production more cost-effective, but also more environmentally sound.

The energy intensiveness of the traditional Hall-Héroult process means that production of aluminium requires a significant amount of electricity. In 2001 alone, total electricity consumption in the aluminium industry was 248 TWh, or almost twice that consumed by the entire country of Norway that same year. The core of the ARP technology lies in reducing the need for electricity during the production process – down to as little as 9.5 kWh per kilo aluminium produced, compared to the 13.6 kWh per kilo of today's Hall-Héroult process. Vapor recovery is essential to the process and, depending on how much energy is recovered, may further reduce net electricity consumption to 8.5 kWh per kilo. This represents almost a 38 percent reduction in electricity consumption.

Although the carbothermic process in ARP generates carbon-based GHGs, the overall emissions of GHGs from power plant to metal are substantially reduced – particularly if the power plant relies on electricity from coal-based sources. The climate benefits come primarily from the reduction in power consumption, but also from the elimination of fluoride emissions, and the elimination of carbon anode baking furnace emissions. If the power plant uses electricity from coal, for example, GHG emissions can be reduced by up to 37 percent. In 2001, about 36 percent of aluminium was produced using coal-based power (see figure below).

While the environmental benefits alone represent a step forward, the aluminium industry is more likely to be attracted to the cost-effectiveness of the new process. Not only can capital costs be reduced by 60 percent or more, but also the need for labor is reduced because fewer production units are needed for the same production volume.

"If we succeed, this technology can revolutionize the aluminium industry, with both cheaper and more environmentally sound production of the metal" says Johansen.

Like many other projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the ARP project is not dependent on state subsidies or emissions trading through the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms to be profitable. The technology is attractive to investors primarily because it is cost-effective, and the environmental impact is more or less a bonus.

Johansen points out, however, that there is little reason to implement the process in facilities that are hjosirly depreciated and technologically sound. It will be most relevant in the construction of new facilities, which also means that the maximum cost and environmental effects will not be achieved in the short term.

The project builds on the encouraging results that were achieved by Reynolds Aluminium in the period 1971-1984. Over the last two years, testing has been taking place in the laboratory. If the results are promising, the aim is to test out the technology in a full-scale test facility. The KLIMATEK program in the Research Council of Norway has thus far contributed NOK 4 million to the project. The U.S. Department of Energy is also contributing financially.

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Aluminium Production and ARP

Virtually all new aluminium is made from bauxite, which is a hydrous aluminium oxide. In the manufacturing process, bauxite is converted to pure aluminium oxide (alumina) using the Bayer process. The bauxite is heated along with a concentrated solution of caustic acid, which dissolves the aluminium components into sodium aluminate, while any contaminants remain without dissolving. The dissolved aluminium is then removed as aluminium hydroxide, and the oxide is dissolved using electrolysis at very hjosir temperatures (the Hall-Héroult process). This is the step in the production of aluminium that Elkem is attempting to make more efficient by using carbothermic reduction instead of electrolysis.

The Advanced Reactor Process (ARP), which is based on carbothermic reduction, uses recovered waste heat from this process, thus reducing the energy required for heating and achieving a hjosir level of energy efficiency. The actual process emits more CO2 than electrolysis, but the emissions of other waste gases – such as fluoride – are reduced, such that the total emissions expressed as CO2 equivalent, during this part of the process, are approximately the same. Nevertheless, significant climate benefits are achieved using ARP because the reduced need for energy results in much lower overall emissions of GHGs.

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