The Carbon Capture and Storage Association is once again drawing attention to the possibilities of working with enhanced oil recovery operations as a means of improving CCS as a whole.

Judith Shapiro (right), Policy and Communications Manager with the CCSA told Power Engineering International that the environmental and economic advantages of pursuing the relationship with EOR should not be ignored.
Judith Shapiro
“If (CO2 from CCS to EOR) did not occur the oil would be supplied elsewhere from the market to meet the demand and hence global consumption of oil (and CO2 emissions) is not changed.”

“Therefore the environmental performance of oil from CO2-EOR, with CCS, is better than many alternative EOR methods.”

There has been some scepticism about whether EOR combined with CCS is as beneficial to humanity in helping to remove carbon as its supporters claim. Indeed Power Magazine recently pondered whether EOR was simply ‘a shell game moving carbon around from one place to another.’

They concluded that the environmental benefit was minimal and the economics didn’t stand up.

The CCSA obviously differ in that opinion and Shapiro pointed to the work of the Scottish CCS Centre (SCCS), which has recently published two reports which provide evidence to back this up: These are the CO2-EOR Joint Industry Project report and a scientific paper on public perceptions of CO2-EOR.

She added that the CO2-EOR process represents an important opportunity to develop early infrastructure for CCS and improve the technology.

“The global need for CCS as highlighted by the IPCC who say that without CCS, the cost of meeting global climate change targets could increase by 138 per cent, means that EOR can only play an early enabling role for CCS.”

Meanwhile conventional carbon capture and storage projects continue to go ahead in the UK despite recent difficult times for the industry after a government decision not to invest in the technology.

The engineering and design consultancy Arup has been appointed by Summit Power Caledonia UK Ltd (Summit) to provide environmental and permitting advice for the Caledonia Clean Energy Project in Grangemouth, Scotland.

Summit was awarded £4.2m of funding from Scottish Government and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to undertake a feasibility study for a circa 570 MW Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) generation plant. A team from Arup’s Edinburgh office in South Queensferry will lead the study.

The project will utilise coal as a feedstock and with established coal gasification technology will convert the coal into clean syngas which consists mainly of hydrogen. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the conversion process will be captured and transported via pipeline to Aberdeenshire, then compressed for transportation offshore via subsea pipelines, utilising existing oil and gas infrastructure where possible. The CO2 will then be injected and stored deep under the North Sea in depleted oil and gas reservoirs or sandstone formations. 

The hydrogen based syngas is then burnt in a conventional combine cycle gas turbines (CCGT) generating secure and low carbon electricity.

Arup will be specifically responsible for conducting environmental risk assessments including air quality, ecological receptors, cooling water options, feedstock delivery as well as landscape and visual impacts.

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