Sleipner Carbon Capture and Storage project

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The Sleipner Carbon Capture and Storage project is a project operated by Statoil where approximately 1 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide from the natural gas produced from the Sleipner gas field is being injected into a sub-sea aquifer. The project began in 1996 in response to the introduction of a carbon tax by the Norwegian government taxes on cO2.[1] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that the Sleipner field had a co2 content of 9.5% and that the Norwegian carbon tax was approximately $180 a tonne.[2]

By the end of 2008 approximately 11 million tonnes of C02 had been stored in a "porous sandstone filled with saline water" under an 800-metre thick rock cap in what is referred to as the Utsira formation. Statoil claims that the "carbon dioxide will probably remain stored in the geological layer for thousands of years."[3]

Background

Statoil states that there were two critical factors prompting the decision to pursue CCS. The first was that in 1990 tests conducted in the planning stages for the Sleipner West gas field revealed that that gas was approximately 9% carbon dioxide. "This exceeded the customers' requirements and the carbon dioxide content therefore had to be reduced," Statoil states.[3] The second factor was the 1991 introduction by the Norwegian government of a carbon tax on offshore emissions. Statoil states that the "the quotas and CO2 tax now total about USD 50 per tonne."[3]

In another 2004 presentation a Statoil executive also identified identified that a "saline aquifer available" as a third factor in the decision to embrace CCS.[4]

Performance

While Statoil are optimistic about the performance of the CCS project, they cautiously note that "reservoir simulation tools partly proven".[4]

A Statoil executive, Olav Kaarstad, also noted in 2004 that "historically the Norwegian CO2-injection interest has been driven mostly – but not entirely – by the high CO2-tax on the offshore oil and gas activity" but that with the CO2-tax set to be "replaced by a lower cost CO2-credit system in the future, little progress will be made without an alternative strategy."

Kaarstad suggested the in future that it would be best to "go for utilisation of CO2 in a market that can pay at least part of the cost of storage - use CO2 for enhanced oil recovery as a transition strategy. He also suggested that it would be best to "go first for the least costly CO2-sources first - typically from natural gas refineries, ammonia plants, gasification plants, hydrogen plants etc" and that there was a need to "create more flexibility wrt. transportation pipelines, but also ships".[4]

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Sleipner Project", IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, accessed May 2010.
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scientific-Technical Analyses", Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, page 608.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Statoil, "Sleipner West", Statoil website, September 23, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Olav Kaarstad, "The Sleipner Project", Statoil New Energy, Presentation to IEA Asia Pacific Conference on Zero Emissions Technologies, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, February 18th, 2004, page 5. (Pdf)

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

  • Olav Kaarstad, "The Sleipner Project", Statoil New Energy, Presentation to IEA Asia Pacific Conference on Zero Emissions Technologies, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, February 18th, 2004. (Pdf)

External articles