Status Report 2014

    Key findings

An acceleration in CCS projects and investment is needed

  • To achieve the 2°C climate goal at least cost, modelling by the IEA indicates that around 4,000 million tonnes of CO2 per year needs to be captured and stored in 2040, growing to around 6,000 million tonnes per year in 2050.
  • In terms of industry composition, in the period to 2050 approximately 60 per cent of these volumes are in the power sector, the remainder in various industrial processes (including industries such as iron and steel production and cement manufacture).
  • In terms of regional composition, approximately 70 per cent of these volumes arise in the developing economies.
  • The tens of projects presently in operation and under construction needs to increase to the hundreds and then to the thousands by the middle of this century.
  • The scale of annual investment associated with such project levels is in the hundreds of billions of dollars or more.
  • CCS projects are akin to large infrastructure developments and take time to design, permit and construct.
  • Actions must be undertaken now to incentivise investment in CCS if it is to realise its full potential in tackling climate change, as part of a portfolio of low-carbon technologies.  

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Enhanced policy support is key to accelerating CCS deployment

  • Commercialising CCS is not a technical challenge; policy and regulatory enhancements are key to incentivising investment in CCS.
  • Since 2007, total CCS investment has been less than US$20 billion compared to around 100 times that amount for renewable energy technologies over the same timeframe.
  • This substantial funding difference reflects, in part, that CCS has not been afforded sufficient policy support, especially when viewed in terms of its ability to achieve deep CO2 emissions reductions.
  • Effective policies that will accelerate deployment of CCS must be implemented this decade.
  • In the lead up to COP 21, the vital role of CCS in national and regional strategies to address climate change must be reinforced.
  • Key projects in advanced planning that are very close to making a final investment decision must get across the finish line so benefits can flow.
  • Application of the principle of ‘policy parity’ can strengthen the foundations for widespread deployment by an equitable level of consideration, recognition and support being given to CCS compared to other low-carbon technologies.
  • Specific areas in the application of this principle include:
    • Predictable and enduring policy arrangements that support a positive business case
    • Extending CCS law and regulation across the globe
    • Incentivising storage site selection to support project development
    • Continuing research & development to reduce costs.

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Hub and cluster arrangements can facilitate deployment of industrial CCS

  • Carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities account for around 25 per cent of total global emissions.
  • CCS is the only technology that can achieve deep reductions in CO2 emissions in high-emitting industrial applications such as cement, iron and steel and chemicals.
  • Many emissions-intensive industries (both power generation and general industry) are located in tight geographical clusters that can leverage CCS infrastructure. 
  • Europe has several clusters of numerous co-located industrial emitters (Teesside, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Humberside) as well as significant and well-characterised CO2 storage options resulting from extensive hydrocarbon exploration and production.
  • The provision of strategically-sized shared transport and storage infrastructure facilitates the efficient aggregation of smaller volumes of CO2 from industrial sources.
  • An ‘anchor project’ that bears the fixed costs of the initial infrastructure can reduce the risks associated with developing a CCS cluster.
  • Possible ‘anchor projects’ in Europe at present include the White Rose and Peterhead CCS power projects in the UK and the ROAD CCS power project in the Netherlands.

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CCS is established and more projects are becoming operational

  • Separation of CO2 is a routine business practice in a number of industrial processes (for example natural gas processing) and carbon capture is now successfully deployed in power generation.
  • Transport of CO2 occurs daily with an excellent safety record; in the US there is around 6,500 km of onshore CO2 pipelines.
  • Storage of CO2 has been safely and securely performed in deep saline reservoirs for more than 15 years, and in oil and gas reservoirs for decades.
  • There are currently 15 operational large-scale CCS projects around the world, with the capacity to prevent 28 million tonnes a year (Mtpa) of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere.
  • Within the next 18 months or so, another seven large-scale CCS projects will become operational, giving a total CO2 capture capacity for these 22 projects of 40 Mtpa.
  • By the end of 2017, large-scale operational CCS projects will be found in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and South America, as well across industries (including power and steel) and with different CO2 capture and storage methods.
  • There is also a large number of smaller scale CCS demonstration and pilot projects around the world. Many of these are in Asia, especially China and Japan. These are seen as building blocks to deployment at larger scale.

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Carbon dioxide storage is safe and secure

  • There are no technical barriers preventing the implementation of commercialised CO2 storage as part of the global deployment of CCS.
  • Secure geological storage sites can be selected, characterised and operated based on well-established risk management principles gained from decades of industry experience.
  • Tens of millions of tonnes of CO2 have been injected and stored since the early 1970s in storage pilot projects, large-scale projects involving geological storage or in enhanced oil recovery projects.
  • A variety of technologies have been successfully deployed at pilot and commercial scale projects to measure, monitor and account for CO2 injected in the subsurface.
  • Operational experience from large-scale projects and learnings from R&D programs have informed a host of ‘best practice’ guidance documents that are currently being integrated into international standards for CO2 geological storage.
  • The combined experience of decades of operational experience and ongoing R&D shows that interventions can be made to control, minimise and prevent CO2 leakage.

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Storage resources are available to support CCS deployment

  • Reliable methodologies to determine and classify regional storage resources are available and have been widely used.
  • Detailed regional surveys have been undertaken in several key nations, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, UK and Norway.
  • Other nations including China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa have undertaken high level reviews of storage potential.
  • Assessments show that resources associated with deep saline formations, depleted oil and gas fields and CO2-EOR are large in comparison to mitigation targets for many decades to come.
  • Regional resource assessments can assist the detailed site selection and characterisation work required to enable project financial investment decisions.
  • Deployment of large-scale projects this decade will improve the understanding and calibration of regional resource assessments.
  • As it can take a considerable time period to undertake detailed storage site appraisal, policies that incentivise the further exploration and appraisal of significant CO2 storage capacity are to be encouraged.

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CCS is a cost effective emissions reduction technology

  • CCS is competitive with many other low and zero emission technologies on a cost per tonne of avoided emissions basis.
  • The exclusion of CCS as a technology option in electricity generation could increase mitigation costs by around US$2 trillion by 2050.
  • The world’s first large-scale CCS project in the power sector, the Boundary Dam CCS Project in Saskatchewan, Canada, has been operating for over a year.
  • Additional power sector operations are anticipated in 2016 – at the Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi and the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project in Texas (both in the US).
  • Lessons learned from these projects will provide valuable information for decreasing costs of design, construction and operation of future carbon capture facilities.
  • The Operator of Boundary Dam, SaskPower, believes the next development could be up to 30 per cent cheaper.
  • Several 2nd generation technologies are being tested at pilot scale; these are candidates for the next significant wave of lower-cost capture plants that can lead to widespread deployment.
  • New capture technologies are being developed globally with international collaboration key to their acceleration.

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CCS is essential in meeting climate goals

  • International climate and energy organisations continue to highlight the important role of CCS in meeting climate goals.
  • To limit global temperature increases to no more than 2°C, climate models suggest a 40 to 70 per cent global reduction in emissions by 2050 compared to 2010 is necessary, with emission levels near zero or below in 2100.
  • CCS has a key role to play in curbing CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel based power generation and is the only option available to significantly reduce direct emissions from many industrial processes.
  • Modelling by the International Energy Agency shows that CCS provides around 13 per cent of the required cumulative emissions reductions through 2050 in a 2°C  world compared to ‘business as usual’.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its November 2014 Fifth Assessment Summary for Policymakers report, highlighted the following points in the event CCS is not available or its implementation is delayed:
      • Without CCS, the cost of achieving 450 parts per million (ppm) CO2-eq concentrations by 2100 could be 138% more costly (compared to scenarios that include CCS).
      • Only a minority of climate models could successfully produce a 450 ppm scenario in the absence of CCS.
      • Many climate models indicate a temporary ‘overshoot’ of atmospheric concentrations, which requires the world needing to achieve ‘net negative emissions’ to meet climate goals. The availability and widespread deployment of bioenergy with CCS is important in a world where ‘net negative emissions’ are required.

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   Key CCS projects

Quest Project                             

Quest is a commercial scale, fully integrated CCS project which demonstrates how existing technologies work together for the safe and permanent storage of CO2.

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Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project

Launched in Saudi Arabia in July 2015, this project is the first operational large-scale CCS project in the Middle East.

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Illinois Industrial CCS Project              

World’s first large-scale bio-CCS project with the potential to store one million tonnes of CO2 per annum, expected to become operational in early 2016.


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The Boundary Dam CCS Project

The Boundary Dam CCS Project is located in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. At full capacity, it involves the capture of around one million tonnes per annum of CO2 from a re-furbished coal-fired Production Unit No.3 at the Boundary Dam power station owned by SaskPower. The project became operational in October 2014. The captured CO2 will be used primarily for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at the Weyburn Oil Unit about 66 km from the power.

The Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) station, supplementing existing CO2 supply from a gasification facility in North Dakota (in the US). Cenovus Energy has constructed a pipeline to transport the CO2 on behalf of the Weyburn Unit partners. Carbon dioxide not used in EOR will be injected into a deep saline formation nearby the power station as part of the Aquistore Project, at a depth of around 3.4 km. In April 2015, Saskpower announced that CO2 injection had begun at Aquistore.

The Quest Project

Quest is one of the world’s first commercial-scale CCS projects and Shell’s flagship CCS demonstration project. Quest is designed to capture and safely store more than one million tonnes of CO2 each year – equivalent to the emissions from about 250,000 cars.

Quest was made possible through strong support from the governments of Alberta and Canada, and was built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners (Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil).

Located near Edmonton, Alberta, Quest will capture about one-third of the direct CO2 emissions from the Scotford upgrader, transport the CO2 by an 80 km pipeline, and inject it more than two km underground. Sophisticated monitoring technologies will ensure the CO2 is permanently and securely stored. Shell is freely sharing knowledge and data derived from Quest to help benefit future CCS projects.

Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project

The Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project is located in a small area at the Uthmaniyah production unit in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project was officially launched as operational in July 2015.

This CO2-EOR demonstration project compresses and dehydrates around 800,000 tonnes of CO2 separated from the Hawiyah NGL (natural gas liquids) Recovery Plant, which is then transported 85 km to the injection site. As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has abundant conventional hydrocarbon reserves and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is not likely to be required at production scale for decades to come, this demonstration project is focused on research and development objectives. The project duration is expected to be three to five years. The design of the project includes a comprehensive monitoring and surveillance plan.

Illinois Industrial CCS Project

This project is an integrated CCS project developed by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company, located in the state of Illinois in the United States. The project is nearing operation and is expected to be operational early in 2016.

Around one million tonnes of CO2 per annum sourced from the ADM corn-to-ethanol plant in Decatur, Illinois, will be transported by pipeline a short distance to the CO2 injection site. The CO2 will be injected into the Mount Simon Sandstone formation at a depth of around 2km. The Illinois Industrial CCS Project will incorporate facilities that were used by the smaller-scale Illinois Basin Decatur Project (IBDP) which successfully captured and stored one million tonnes of CO2 in the three years to end 2014. Public education and outreach on CCS is an integral part of the Illinois Industrial CCS project.

To support these activities a new education facility – the National Sequestration Education Center (NSEC) – was established at the Richland Community College in September 2012. The project features a robust array of measurement, monitoring and verification technologies.

The project benefited from strong support from the US Department of Energy.


Global media release – English

CCS holds key to bridging climate gap

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Global media release – Japanese


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Global media release – Chinese


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Media Heading Goes here

On 29 July 2015 Saudi Aramco announced the launch of its Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) Demonstration Project. Located in a small area of the Uthmaniyah production unit in Saudi Arabia, the project is the Middle East’s first operational large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility.

The Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project is capable of capturing around 0.8 million tonnes of CO2 per annum from the Hayiwah NGL (natural gas liquids) Recovery Plant. Captured CO2 will be transported by 85km by pipeline to the Uthmaniyah production unit in the Ghawar oil field for enhanced oil recovery.

Over its three to five year lifespan, the project will be studied by engineers and researchers who will seek to apply lessons learned to other facilities and oil fields throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco’s announcement of the launch of its Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project can be read online.

Globally there are now 14 large-scale CCS projects in operation, with a total CO2 capture capacity of 27 million tonnes per annum. A further eight projects are under construction, two of which are anticipated to commence operations by the end of 2015.

More information on the large-scale and notable CCS projects monitored by the Institute can be viewed on our website.