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CSA group and IPAC-CO2 propose bi-national standard for geologic storage of CO2

16 November 2012

CSA Group, a leading developer of standards, codes and training programs, and the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.), an environmental non-government organization (ENGO), are proposing a bi-national carbon capture and storage (CCS) standard for the geologic storage of carbon dioxide for Canada and the United States.

The CSA Z741 Geological storage of carbon dioxide standard is a Canada-USA consensus standard, developed with a technical committee of more than 30 professionals representing industry, regulators, researchers and NGOs from both sides of the border. The genesis of the standard was a seed document developed by IPAC-CO2 based on their research. It is intended that the new standard will also be used as a basis for the international CCS standards through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

CSA Z741 Geological storage of carbon dioxide standard provides guidelines for regulators, industry and others around the world involved with scientific and commercial CCS projects.

It establishes requirements and recommendations for the geological storage of carbon dioxide to help promote environmentally safe and long term containment of carbon dioxide in a way that minimizes risks to the environment and human health.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion 2 reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt on 2010, or 3.3%. The IEA has urged for a quick and global push to develop and deploy CCS technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Formally recognized national or international standards for the long-term storage of CO2 are needed to help ensure risks are identified and addressed.

There are eight large-scale CCS projects internationally storing about 23 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The Global CCS Institute’s Global Status of CCS: 2012 report released last month said an additional eight projects under construction would increase the annual storage volume to 36 million tonnes by 2015. This is about 70% of the IEA’s target for mitigation activities by CCS. A top priority for CCS research is the confirmation that geologic CO2 storage is safe, reliable and an environmentally beneficial practice for the long-term.

The standard is primarily applicable to saline aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and does not preclude its application to storage associated with tertiary hydrocarbon recovery. It includes, but is not limited to, recommendations with respect to the safer design, construction, operation, maintenance, and closure of storage sites. It also provides recommendations for the development of management documents, community engagement, risk assessment, and risk communication.

The project life cycle covers all aspects, periods, and stages of the storage project, beginning with those necessary to initiate the project (including site screening, selection, characterization, assessment, engineering, permitting, and construction), that lead to the start of injection and proceeding through subsequent operations until cessation of injection; and culminating in the post-injection period, which can include a closure period and a post-closure period. The standard does not specify post-closure period requirements.

CSA Group has experience in developing international environmental and carbon dioxide management standards. On behalf of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), CSA Group manages the Secretariat for the committee that developed the ISO 14000 environmental management and ISO 14064 greenhouse gas management standards. The CCS standard will be submitted to ISO as a basis for the promotion of international standards by the end of 2012.

IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. provides independent performance and risk assessment and risk management of geologic storage of carbon dioxide. IPAC-CO2Research Inc. was established in 2009 as an environmental non-government organization (ENGO) with $14 million in funding from the Government of Saskatchewan, Royal Dutch Shell and the Government of Canada.

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