Supporting the search for the next CO2 Storage Sites

Author: Angus Reid, Engineering Manager for Costain’s Upstream Oil & Gas

28 July 2015

Our oil and gas team is using its expertise in field development and subsea infrastructure to support a £2.5 million project, helping to shape the future of Carbon Capture Storage. Working alongside partners Pale Blue Dot Energy and Axis Wells Technology, Costain’s role is to evaluate the offshore infrastructure requirements for five potential offshore sites to store CO2 generated by some of the UK’s major power stations and industrial sites around the UK.

I’m delighted to be leading this project, which began in May initially collecting data and developing the screening methodology. Starting with approximately 650 sites, we are required to reduce this number to around 20 by the end of July and identify the five most promising sites by August.

Costain’s role is to evaluate the offshore infrastructure requirements for the selected storage sites. Once the CO2 has been captured at the power plant or industrial site, it then has to be transported to the storage site. That’s where Costain comes in: we analysis everything involved in the transportation of the CO2, including pipelines, platforms and subsea infrastructure. We don’t just select the five biggest, we look at a range of factors to develop a portfolio that include factors such as location, rock formation and depth. We need a geographical spread to ensure the storage sites are not too far from the largest emitters, the stores must be deep enough to ensure the CO2 remains a liquid, and a variety of rock formations and store types such as depleted reservoirs and aquifers selected. We’re considering sites which capacity varies from upwards of 100 million tonnes to around 1000 million tonnes.

This exciting project has been commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). It aims to develop storage options which will help create 1500 million tonnes of CO2 storage in the UK, injecting 50 million tonnes a year, by 2030. The project also aims to show that the UK has significant CO2 storage capacity and to encourage future CCS projects. It will make a significant and tangible difference to future CO2 storage developers and can be seen by CCS project developers as providing clear evidence of the availability, cost and timing of CO2 storage

Read the full article published in Professional Engineering Magazine