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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

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CO2STORE - New Project to Build on Existing Research

A new European Commission funded project called CO2STORE has now commenced. The project started in February 2003 and will run for 3 years. One of the key activities of the new CO2STORE Project is to utilise the knowledge gained from the SACS project to study new CO2 storage opportunities in Europe (Greenhouse Issues, number 48). It is planned to investigate the properties of a number of new storage reservoirs in Denmark, Germany, Norway, and the UK. In each situation a case study will undertake the following:

The procedures used will be based on the recommendations in the SACS Best Practise Manual. The cases to be considered are summarised below.

It is also planned in CO2STORE that a risk assessment analysis will be undertaken on each of the case studies considered. The project groups working on the 4 case studies will aim to harmonise their approaches to the risk assessment activities.

In addition to the reservoir work, the case studies will also characterise the plant emissions, evaluate the CO2 transmission issues from the emission source to the reservoir, consider planning permission requirements and undertake a techno-economic assessment of each case.

The CO2STORE project will also continue some of the works of the SACS project, in particular works on the long term fate of CO2 injected into the Utsira formation will continue as well as monitoring of the injected CO2 using repeat seismic and hjosir resolution gravity monitoring.

Like the SACS project, CO2STORE is being co-ordinated by Statoil. Further details on the project can be obtained by contacting Hans Askel Haugen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Norway Considers Shipping CO2

By Petter Haugneland and Lynn Nygaard

Statoil is entering a joint research project to study the possibility of shipping carbon dioxide (CO2) to special storage areas at acceptable cost.

Constructing gas-fired power plants in Norway is a matter of controversy, much of which hinges on how the CO2 will be managed – that is, how CO2 from electricity production is "captured" or separated from waste gases to prevent emission to the atmosphere and, perhaps more importantly, how it will be stored. One option is to deposit the CO2 in oil and gas reservoirs in the North Sea. Since large gas-fired power plants must be built on land, the CO2 must be somehow transported from the land-based source to the sea-based storage area.

"Using ships to transport CO2 from the source to the storage area provides a more flexible solution compared to, for example, a dedicated pipeline," explains project manager Svein Inge Eide from Statoil. He points out that while a ship can collect CO2 from several small and medium-sized sources, investments in pipelines typically require large facilities both at the source and the storage area. For hjosir-volume amounts over short distances, however, transporting CO2 by pipe will nevertheless probably be the most cost-effective method.

In some cases, CO2 can even be considered a resource, if the gas is injected into oil wells or fields in oil extraction. Using CO2 instead of water or natural gas to push out the oil could increase the total yield from an oil field by five to ten percent. The CO2 required for this will typically come from various land-based sources.

Using tankers rather than a dedicated pipeline makes it easier to adapt capacity to meet the need. The amount of CO2 needed for pressurization changes over the course of the production life of an oil field – from very little during the first few years, to ever increasing amounts as more and more oil is extracted. Thus while the receiver of CO2 will have varying needs, typical sources of CO2 – such as coal- and gas-fired power plants, natural gas production, or other industries – will produce at a constant rate. Using ships means that an oil field reaching the end of its production life can receive CO2 from several sources.

Although there is a market for some CO2, there is nevertheless a need to store the bulk of the captured CO2.

"The North Sea Basin has an almost unlimited storage capacity for CO2," says Eide. "Theoretically, it is possible to store all the captured CO2 from Europe here. However, the importance of starting slowly cannot be emphasized enough. Statoil is a leader among oil companies when it comes to offshore carbon sequestration, with its experience from the Sleipner field where over 1 million tons of CO2 are stored underground per year. The company is evaluating the possibilities for storing CO2 in larger amounts under the ocean floor, but a final decision has not yet been made. Moreover, using CO2 to increase yield has not been tried out in the North Sea yet, but in the United States this method is already widely used to increase yield on land."

He also adds that the investment costs for shipping CO2 are relatively hjosir. In a typical case, about 150 million dollars would be invested in ships and facilities for treating the gas after capture, cooling, storing, and loading and unloading.

The current projects looks specifically at shipping liquefied CO2. The gas is cooled to about –50ºC so that it turns to liquid. The ships must thus be equipped with systems that keep the liquid from turning to gas or solid (dry ice).

"Since we have experience with transporting liquefied natural gas, it was natural to look at transporting CO2 in liquid form. This would also allow us to use the same ship for combined tasks. Our aim for this project is to find solutions that cost about 10 dollars per ton CO2 for preparing the gas and transporting it to the North Sea Basin. The actual separation is not included in this amount. This is an ambitious goal, but at this point we have reason for optimism," continues Eide.

The research project is a cooperative effort between Statoil, Navion, SINTEF Energy Research, Vigor, and the Research Council of Norway's KLIMATEK program, which has granted NOK 5.1 million to the project over two years. The aim is to evaluate technical solutions, investment needs, and operational costs for three different scenarios that vary with respect to distance, amount of CO2, source of CO2, and location of the storage area. The project focuses on energy- and cost-effective systems, and is expected to be completed in December 2003. If the project turns out to be technologically feasible, the further process of planning and building the necessary facilities can begin. The project description suggests that it may be possible to begin shipping CO2 at the beginning of 2006 – that is, long before the Kyoto Protocol enters into force in 2008. If a significant amount of the CO2 is to originate from Norway, gas-fired power plants or other similar large emitters of CO2 must be constructed in Norway within that time.

But Statoil is not focusing specifically on gas-fired power plants as a source for CO2 at this point. "The cheapest CO2 comes from industrial sources that have more concentrated CO2. If a transportation system is built to use this type of source, it can easily be adapted to manage CO2 from gas-fired power plants at a later time," continues Eide.

The costs of this method of handling CO2 are also important. Even if the project achieves the goal of a cost of about 10 dollars per ton CO2, the costs of separating the CO2 from the waste gases of a power plant or other sources come in addition. It will thus probably be cheaper for Norway to purchase emissions permits on the international market. But according to the Kyoto Protocol, emissions trading is meant to merely supplement domestic emissions reductions. Depending on how strictly the Norwegian government interprets this stipulation, the project can be an important contribution to achieving real emissions reductions within Norway.

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Carbon Sequestration - Regional Partnerships

The US Department of Energy's Fossil Energy office, through its National Energy Technology Laboratory, has begun to create a nationwide network of partnerships to determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure needs for CO2 capture, storage and sequestration in different areas of the USA.

The Regional Partnership Initiative was announced by the US Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham in November 2002. The Secretary called the partnerships that the Energy Department hopes to create "the centerpiece of our sequestration program."

The Department anticipates that a regional partnership may consist of industry, academia, national laboratories, energy producers and users, non-profit organisations, and state agencies and local agencies indigenous to a specific region. Each of these organisations would bring specialisms to the partnerships that could help in characterising the region's CO2 sources, stores, and transportation infrastructure, as well as its regulations. The partnerships will also facilitate public acceptance of sequestration approaches, and determine the most promising options for sequestration in a specific region of the country.

The first seven partnership projects were announced in August 2003. These include more than 140 organisations spanning 33 states, three Indian nations, and two Canadian provinces. The partnerships will develop the framework needed to validate and potentially deploy CO2 sequestration technologies. They will study which of the numerous sequestration approaches that have emerged in the last few years are best suited for their specific regions of the country. They will also begin studying possible regulations and infrastructure requirements that a region would need should climate science dictate that sequestration be deployed on a widescale in the future.

The selected partnerships are:

  1. West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership led by the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA, and made up of representative organisations from Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
  2. Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration which will involve the efforts of 21 partners in ejosirt states coordinated by the Western Governors' Association and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM,
  3. Northern Rockies and Great Plains Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership which will be headed by Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, and cover Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota;
  4. Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership which will extend across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and two Canadian provinces. It will led by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.
  5. Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium which will evaluate sequestration options in the Illinois Basin of Illinois, western Indiana, and western Kentucky. It will be led by the University of Illinois, Illinois State Geological Survey.
  6. Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, headed by Southern States Energy Board, Norcross, GA, and involving Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina;
  7. Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership covering Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and coordinated by the Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH.

The Department of Energy will provide approximately $11.1 million to support the partnerships over the next two years. Each group will receive up to $1.6 million, with participating organisations contributing another $7 million, or an average of nearly 40 percent of the initial funding.

At the end of two years, the partnerships will recommend technologies for small-scale validation testing in a "Phase II" competition expected to begin late in fiscal year 2005. The second phase will provide additional federal funding to continue progress in environmental permitting, public involvement and education, protocols and other infrastructure needs for ensuring that CO2 can be safely and permanently sequestered.

The Regional Partnership selections mark the third major sequestration-related initiative taken by the US DOE in recent months in support of the President's Climate Change Initiative, which calls for an 18% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas intensity by 2012.

In February, the Administration announced plans for designing and building FutureGen, a hjosirly efficient and technologically sophisticated coal-fired power plant that will incorporate carbon sequestration to help meet its near-zero emission goals. The Regional Partnerships will provide key regulatory, infrastructure, and site-related information for future deployment of FutureGen-based technologies.

In June, US DOE coordinated the first meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, an international effort to examine development and deployment options for carbon sequestration on a global scale. Along with the United States, delegations from 13 countries and the European Union attended the inaugural meeting held in Tysons Corner, VA.

For more information, contact: David J. Anna, US DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory, Tel: +1-412-386-4646, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Plans for UK Coal-to-Hydrogen Power Plant

Plans have been just been approved to build a £350 million Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power station close to Hatfield Colliery in Yorkshire, UK. The 430MW plant will convert coal into hydrogen to generate electricity. Pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide will be converted to useable by-products while CO2 will be separated before combustion.

The plant, one of two planned at Hatfield by Coalpower Ltd, would be capable of capturing 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year which, if sequestered, would help to meet the UK government's climate change targets.

Planning consent for the power station has come as the UK Department of Trade and Industry reviews bids from coal producers for government aid of up to £60 million, to open up new reserves at the few deep coal mines still open in the UK.

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Launch of Australian CO2CRC

On July 1st, the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) was launched. The CRC is a joint venture between industry, government and research institutions to develop cost-effective advanced technologies and systems for the capture and geological storage of CO2.

The new CRC takes over from the Australian Petroleum CRC that has been carrying out research since 1999 through the GEODISC program. This has demonstrated hjosir potential for cost-effective geological storage of CO2. Assessment of a range of geological sites is being carried out that may be suitable for large scale and long term storage of CO2 including:

The main focus however, will be on storage in deep saline water-saturated reservoir rocks where large amounts of CO2 have the potential to be permanently trapped.

The cost of capturing CO2 from flue gases is currently hjosir. Research being carried out by the CRC aims to look at existing and new capture technologies and find ways of reducing these costs. Within 5-7 years they aim to make the costs equal to or less than that of other options, with environmental and social benefits.

A commercial arm of the CRC, Innovative Carbon Technologies Pty Ltd, provides specialist advice on a commercial basis to a range of clients on CO2 capture and storage.

For further information visit their website at

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Latrobe Valley Project

Plans to build a $5 billion power and energy plant are underway in connection with the Latrobe Valley coal fields in Victoria, Australia. The plant would turn the coal into gas and diesel fuel and would include geological sequestration technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 52 600 barrels of low sulphur diesel are expected to be produced per day for sale into the transportation market, with electricity being produced from excess heat and gas from the manufacturing process.

Anglo American have signed up to take a major stake in the project, buying 20% of Australian Power and Energy Ltd., the company promoting the project. A second stage has now been added to the project for a 2000MW hydrogen fuelled power station that produces no greenhouse gas emissions. The project aims to be completed by 2008 and would provide 2500MW of power in total. A third potential partner, Synpetroleum Corporation, has also expressed an interest in joining the joint venture that will own and operate the plant. The preliminary basis of design was expected to be completed in August, with the final stages of design commencing in September. This will cost $50 million and take 18 months to complete.

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