Subsea Injection Systems Enable Carbon Capture and SequestrationChris Carpenter
- Strategy and Management
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Industrial relations
- Fuel Technology
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 32460, “Subsea CO2 Injection Systems for CCS Applications: Themes, Challenges, and Opportunities,” by Julian P. Tucker and Kamaldip Randhawa, Baker Hughes. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2023 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
The complete paper presents a discussion of challenges and opportunities relating to subsea system design for CO2 injection in carbon capture and storage (CCS) applications. The scope of the text includes field development considerations, systems operation and control, intervention, monitoring, and barrier testing. A global review of existing and planned CCS developments is used to identify common system characteristics and core functional requirements. The paper reviews topics associated with CO2 transportation, injection, and storage across multiple disciplines to provide holistic guidance and commentary specifically for subsea system design relating to CO2 injection for CCS applications.
For widespread adoption of CCS, dedicated geologic carbon storage (GCS) must be a commercially viable activity. Simply put, the cost of storage per tonne of CO2 must be less than the price that can be charged for storage as a service.
Financial incentives also must be present to support the carbon price for development to take place. Transitional incentives to close the gap between costs and the low value of CO2 emissions reduction also may be required to support development.
In all cases, however, the common denominator is that the cost of storage per tonne must be as low as possible. This is driven by the capital expenditure and operating costs of a project (as well as post-injection-period obligations), which include the cost of CO2 transportation and injection systems and associated equipment.
Types of Transportation and Storage Networks
For dedicated GCS, several types of offshore storage systems are available that are linked to different types of emitters, transportation networks, and value chains.
Storage systems linked to natural gas processing facilities may be considered single-point emitters. The overall architecture of these systems, however, will depend on where the CO2-rich production stream is processed and separated before reinjection.
The most common method of CO2 transportation to offshore locations is through a subsea pipeline, which enables a continuous flow of CO2 and a high system availability. It is worth mentioning that some developments also have considered transportation to offshore storage sites by ship, with injection through an intermediate floating storage vessel. Once installed, a pipeline provides continuous injection with high availability, whereas a vessel will be affected by transit time, weather conditions, downtime caused by maintenance, and high operating costs owing to fuel use. Furthermore, challenges with field expansion also may result.