|Total’s oxyfuel combustion CCS pilot project. Click to enlarge.|
Total has launched a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) project in the Lacq basin in southwestern France.
The project entails converting one of the five steam boilers of the Lacq field’s steam generating plant to an oxyfuel combustion unit, then capturing, pressurizing, transporting 30 km via pipeline and injecting the CO2 emissions into the depleted gas reservoirs of the Lacq area 4,500 meters under ground.
The pilot plant, which will produce some 40 tonnes of steam per hour for use by the industries of the Lacq complex, will emit up to 150,000 tonnes of CO2 over a two-year period, which will be captured and stored. The injection start up is planned for 2008, after two years of studies and preparation.
The pilot unit will be the first oxyfuel combustion project of its scale treating gaseous and liquid fuel and the first experiment in the realm of CO2 storage in France. Using oxygen for combustion rather than air results in a more concentrated CO2 stream that is easier to capture.
Following preliminary studies in 2006, the Rousse field was selected for its geological structure, which gave the best guarantee of sustainable storage. Total has just launched the engineering study phase.
This project will demonstrate the role that CO2 capture and sequestration can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial installations. It represents the first integrated CO2 capture system using oxyfuel combustion combined with storage in a depleted hydrocarbon field.—Christophe de Margerie, President Exploration & Production of Total
The project, which will cost nearly €60 million (US$78 million) will be carried out in partnership with Air Liquide and in cooperation with the French Petroleum Institute (IFP), the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) and others.
Over the past ten years, Total has participated in several CO2 sequestration projects, notably in saline aquifers at North Sea oil production sites.
Total notes that the oxyfuel combustion and CCS process could be brought into play, in particular, in the context of “hot” production of the extra-heavy Athabasca oils in Canada.