SOLUTIONS for transport and storage of carbon dioxide captured at Karsto and Mongstad are to be developed by Gassco in co-operation with Gassnova SF and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Nearly £3million has been provided to fund the project, which has been described as highly significant for Gassco by chief executive Brian Bjordal.
“We have long experience in designing gas pipelines and possess the leading-edge expertise required by such a project,” said Bjordal, announcing the decision.
“We’re a leader for developing carbon transport solutions. This is a vote of confidence in us and shows that our expertise is in demand.”
Due to be completed by September 1, 2009, this is expected to move the Norwegian carbon transport and storage project into a new and important phase marked by extensive design work.
The goal is to help achieve the Oslo government’s target of establishing full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions at the Karsto and Mongstad processing terminals which handle North Sea hydrocarbons output.
Together with Gassnova and the NPD, Gassco is already in the process of establishing a basis for making a choice of carbon transport and storage solution.
These assessments are due to be completed by December 1 and will take account of costs, reservoir conditions and technological risk.
According to the ministry, it will be important to establish effective co-ordination with the projects assessing carbon-capture facilities for the Karsto gas-fired power station and the combined heat and power station under construction at Mongstad.
The ministry also wants Gassco to see whether a commercial and technical basis exists for transporting carbon dioxide from other emission sources via possible pipelines from Karsto and Mongstad.
With that in mind, Gassco is now preparing agreements with seven industrial companies on studies to assess carbon transport from each company’s facilities to collection points at Karsto and Mongstad.
The carbon dioxide would then be piped offshore and injected for long-term storage into geological formations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The seven companies are Fortum, Haugaland Kraft, Industrikraft Midt-Norge, Industrikraft More, Naturkraft, Pohjolan Voima Oy and Sargas.
These studies will determine whether a basis exists for continuing work on solutions with larger transport capacity when the project moves into the design phase in December.
“Carbon transport and storage solutions involve substantial costs, and joint solutions are expected to provided major synergies,” said Bjordal.
“The work we’re doing now will show whether the industry is ready to take advantage of these potential benefits.”
A couple of years ago, Gassco played a leading role in a study into the storage of CO in depleting oilfields, notably Draugen and Heidrun, in return for an output boost for both fields. However, the outcome was that the concept did not stack up economically. It is not known whether this project will be revisited, though Energy believes it is inevitable given the rapid escalation in CO emissions and the need for oil majors to extract best value from existing resources as they have few genuinely fresh opportunities to pursue globally.