CO2 Shipping – April 2015 Cranfield Biannual

This blog was written by Hui Meng, a UKCCSRC ECR from the University of Hull, who received funding from the ECR Meeting Fund to attend the UKCCSRC Spring 2015 Biannual in Cranfield, 21-22 April. 

This session was chaired by Dr Julia Race, there are three presenters to present their research topics about CO2 shipping. 

The first speaker in this session is Dr Peter Brownsort from Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage, the topic of his presentation is ‘Overview of CO2 shipping studies worldwide, plus brief focus on potential role and issues of shipping for CO2-EOR. The main contents was that transport of CO2 by ship may fulfil a key role in the development of carbon capture and storage, particularly for CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the North Sea where a flexible transport system may be advantageous. His talk discussed the potential for ship transport of CO2 based on a recent literature survey. It also covered an outline of the technology required, existing experience, regulation, HSE aspects, and financial factors.

The second speaker was Mr Hans Aksel Haugen from Tel-Tek, his presentation was ‘The crucial role of ships in establishing a Nordic CCS infrastructure. The Nordic countries can illustrate how an infrastructure for CCS may be established, and how ships may represent a key to making such an infrastructure possible. Although promising sites have been identified, The Baltic seems to have rather limited geological CO2 Storage capacity. Danish and the Norwegian Continental have very large potential Storage capacities, some of which have already been storing CO2 for many years. CO2 Sources in these countries are often quite small and scattered along the coasts, making pipeline transportation unfeasible.  Ship transportation has been demonstrated in a small scale by commercial interests already, and may represent a way to kick start the build-up of a CCS infrastructure, but may also be a cost efficient alternative throughout the life span of such infrastructure. Ships may be combined with pipelines, and CO2 may be transported by ship to a land based hub from where a pipeline can transport the CO2 to an offshore Storage location. The feasibility of such concepts has been shown through several studies.

The third speaker was Mr Daniel Loeve from TNO, Netherlands, the presentation was about ‘CO2 shipping, a potential breakthrough?‘. Several studies have showed that the North Sea has large scale CO2 storage potential. Countries around the North Sea are progressing their research on CCS demonstration projects. A major difficulty is the transport of CO2 to the offshore storage locations. CO2 Pipeline transportation needs a guarantee for long term CO2 supply in relative large quantities. In contrast to shipping which can handle many small sources and is flexible in source and sink location. For Enhanced Oil Recovery projects (EOR) this is especially convenient because of the high demand of CO2 at the start of project and declining demand over time. This talk discussed the CO2 shipping value chain including one of the remaining questions in, which is the interface between the ship and the wellhead.