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Texas Clean Energy Project signs long-term CO2 offtake agreement with Whiting Petroleum for enhanced oil recovery; 90% CO2 capture from IGCC coal polygen plant

Tcep
The TCEP would integrate coal gasification, combined-cycle power generation, CO2 capture, and urea production. CO2 capture and shipment via pipeline shown at top. Click to enlarge.

Summit Power Group, LLC and Blue Strategies, LLC have signed a 15-year CO2 offtake agreement with Whiting Petroleum Corporation for some of the CO2 that will be captured by Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP), a coal gasification with carbon capture polygen project being developed in Penwell, Texas, outside Odessa.

TCEP will be an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) 400 MW power/poly-gen plant that will capture 90% of the carbon dioxide, 99% of the sulfur, more than 95% of the mercury, and eliminate more than 90% of the nitrogen oxides produced by the process. Its high carbon-capture rate reduces the total amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere to less than 10% of the emissions for power from a conventional coal plant, and less than 25% of those for power from a highly efficient, natural gas-fired plant, according to Summit.

Under the new agreement, Whiting will purchase 80 million cubic feet (80,000 Mcf/d) of compressed CO2 per day from TCEP—representing approximately 60% of TCEP’s total volume of captured CO2—during the first five years of TCEP’s operation, with gradually declining amounts and an option to extend the purchases thereafter. In the Permian Basin, approximately one additional barrel of oil can be recovered for each 6,000 cubic feet (6 Mcf) of compressed CO2 injected into the oil field. TCEP will begin delivering CO2 to Whiting when the plant commences operations in late 2014 or early 2015; construction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

This is another important milestone for the Texas Clean Energy Project, coming on the heels of last month’s power purchase announcement with CPS Energy in San Antonio. We now have sales commitments in place for all three of TCEP’s main commercial products—electric power, urea for fertilizer, and CO2 for enhanced oil recovery—and that is obviously key to getting this project underway.

—Donald Hodel, Chairman of Summit Power

CO2 for EOR operations in the Permian Basin and elsewhere have generally been carried out with CO2 that is geological in origin—i.e., formed naturally in underground reservoirs in New Mexico and Colorado and brought to the surface by wells such as those used to produce natural gas. More than 3,000 miles of CO2-dedicated pipeline currently transports and distributes geologic CO2 throughout the Permian Basin.

Whiting will be the first in the Permian to purchase CO2 from a power project that will be produced through the coal-gasification process. TCEP received a $450 million award in 2010 from the US Department of Energy’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI), the Department’s effort to create a new generation of energy processes that sharply reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants and reduce America’s dependence on imported energy resources. (Earlier post.)

In oil fields such as Whiting’s, the injected CO2 mixes with the oil that is left behind in the primary oil-well production and the secondary water-injection stage. Approximately 40% of the initially injected CO2 remains trapped underground. The remainder comes to the surface with the oil, but is then recaptured, recompressed, and re-injected. Ultimately, some 99% of the injected CO2 can be permanently stored (i.e. geologically sequestered) deep underground many thousands of feet below the water table, with no leakage to the atmosphere.

We are extremely pleased to be the first oil producer in West Texas to start using manmade CO2 from coal for enhanced oil recovery. This shift from geologic to manmade CO2 in the oil fields is a significant step forward for both the power industry and the oil industry.

—Whiting CEO James Volker

The TCEP

The TCEP integrates coal gasification, combined-cycle power generation, CO2 capture, and urea production. Siemens is the primary equipment provider for TCEP’s gasifiers, power island and controls, including a “twin pack” of SFG-500 gasifiers, a SGT6-5000F combustion turbine, and an advanced SPPA-T3000 control system. The project’s front end engineering design (FEED) study was launched in June 2010 by Fluor, Siemens and Selas Fluid Processing Corporation, a Linde Group subsidiary. The project is supported by H.B. 469, Texas legislation enacted in 2009 to promote carbon capture power projects with low emissions.

Coal gasification, syngas processing and CO2 capture. Pulverized coal feedstock will be introduced into the two Siemens gasifiers along with limited amounts of nearly pure O2 gas and converted into syngas comprising H2 and CO, varying amounts of CO2, nitrogen (N2), sulfur species, methane, volatilized metals, and PM. The syngas will be cooled and cleaned of PM.

Next, the syngas flows through a water-gas shift reactor, in which steam is injected in the syngas over a catalyst bed, initiating a reaction where the CO in the syngas would be converted to CO2 and the steam would be converted to additional H2 in the syngas stream. This provides a syngas stream that is concentrated in both CO2 and H2.

Subsequently, the syngas would pass through a mercury removal system and then an acid gas removal system where first the sulfur species would be removed, then the CO2, creating a clean, H2-rich concentration syngas upon exiting the acid gas removal unit.

Captured CO2 will be further cleaned and compressed, and then transported by pipeline to an existing regional CO2 pipeline or, potentially, to a nearby EOR field. A portion of the captured CO2 will also be used to produce urea. The H2-rich syngas stream will be split, with part used to produce electricity via the turbine and the other part be used to produce urea for fertilizer.

Argon and H2SO4 are by-products of the gasification process and would be made available for commercial sale. Inert slag, another by-product of the gasification process, would be sold for manufacturing and construction uses or disposed of off-site.

The H2-rich, low-CO2 syngas will be combusted in a turbine generator to produce electricity. Combustion of the H2-rich fuel gas will produce water vapor and a low-CO2 exhaust gas with significantly lower CO2 emissions than would occur if the coal itself, or the raw syngas, had been combusted.

The exhaust gas would be ducted through an HRSG (heat recovery steam generator), which would generate high-temperature, high-pressure steam. This steam would be piped into a steam turbine-generator, which would generate additional electricity. This integration of the combustion turbine-generator, HRSG, and steam turbine-generator is known as a combined-cycle power plant.

The combined power generation from the combustion turbine-generator and the steam turbine generator would be approximately 400 MW (gross) with 213 MW sent to the grid, on average, and the remainder being used to run the plant’s equipment. The electricity sold would be transmitted to the regional electrical grid by a high voltage transmission line system. Natural gas would be used to start up the polygen plant and as a backup fuel (natural gas would also be used during operations to heat drying gases, supply an auxiliary boiler, and provide burner pilot flames such as for flares).

With two Siemens gasifiers, the TCEP will produce more syngas than can be used for electricity production. The additional syngas produced will be converted to NH3 using the Haber process. In that process, the H2 in the syngas is reacted with N2 from the air separation unit, forming NH3. Downstream, the NH3 is reacted with a portion of the CO2 from a syngas cleanup system, thereby forming urea in a Bosch-Meiser process. The urea is produced as a granular product common in the fertilizer industry.

TCEP will be located at one of the former FutureGen finalist sites—the 600-acre Penwell site—situated fifteen miles west of Odessa, Texas. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is currently being prepared for the US Department of Energy (DOE). TCEP received its air quality permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on December 28, 2010—a major milestone that is the key state governmental approval that is required to move the project forward to be privately financed and built. The permit was issued administratively since the draft permit received no opposition or requests for a hearing.

TCEP is currently scheduled to achieve financial closing and commence construction in Fall 2011. Commercial operation is scheduled for late 2014. The project will begin sequestering carbon during start-up and testing in 2014.

Summit, a power developer based in Seattle, WA, and Blue Strategies, a Houston-based developer of physical CO2 projects, partnered in October 2009 to market TCEP’s 2.5 million tons per year of CO2 to oil producers in the West Texas Permian Basin.

This is the first of several CO2 off-take agreements with TCEP, and we are pleased to have negotiated this historic first one with a company that has a long and successful history of doing enhanced oil recovery in the Permian.

—Blue Strategies Executive Vice President Russell Martin

Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent oil and gas company that acquires, develops and explores for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids primarily in the Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent, Gulf Coast and Michigan regions of the United States. The company’s largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and its Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) projects, which have historically used naturally occurring geological CO2 for injection in its EOR projects in Oklahoma and Texas.

Summit Power Group has developed large, low-carbon energy projects with more than 7,000 megawatts of electric power plants in operation, representing more $7 billion in investment, and more than 2,000 megawatts in development or under construction.

Blue Strategies is a leading developer of CO2 projects involving the capture, compression and transportation of CO2. In addition, Blue Strategies works very closely with private and governmental agencies to develop procedures around assuring injected CO2 remains sequestered in the reservoir and meets the requirements for carbon offset registries. The management team has more than 100 years of experience in managing physical CO2.

Resources

Comments

Alain

So if they add only a small percentage (>10%) of biomass, this would be truely carbon-negative electricity. even better than wind or solar.

HarveyD

Possibilities have been there for a long time.

Account Deleted

The good news is that the market value of CO2 gasses increases with increasing oil prices as it can be used to squire even more oil out of aging oil fields. However, I am skeptical that it is economical to source the CO2 from coal power plants. It requires very expensive and complicated equipment to separate nitrogen from the CO2 in the exhaust gases of a coal plant. Why not do it with an ethanol refinery instead. As far as I understand the fermentation process in an ethanol plant produces pure CO2 gasses without nitrogen or any other gases in it. No equipment is needed apart from a pump and a CO2 pipeline to the nearest oil field.

In all likelihood Poet energy will succeeds in making cellulosic ethanol economic no later than 2015. This will increase the potential to locate ethanol refineries on top of old oil fields as cellulosic biomass can be grown almost anywhere as long as you have water. You don’t need fertile land to grow grasses for ethanol production. The point is off cause to minimize the cost of pumping CO2 to these oil fields.

Engineer-Poet

400 MW gross with only 213 MW net is one heck of a lot of plant overhead. The syngas split between generation and chemical production may account for much of that, and CO2 compression some more, but that is amazingly high. I've been touting concepts like this for some time, but if the output fraction doesn't improve greatly if the chemical side is removed then it just isn't viable due to low efficiency. (Wabash River hits 40%, w/o CO2 capture.)

I am skeptical that it is economical to source the CO2 from coal power plants. It requires very expensive and complicated equipment to separate nitrogen from the CO2 in the exhaust gases of a coal plant.
Henrik, the CO2 in this plant is captured from the acid-gas scrubbers handling the output of oxygen-blown gasifiers. There is little nitrogen involved.
Why not do it with an ethanol refinery instead. As far as I understand the fermentation process in an ethanol plant produces pure CO2 gasses without nitrogen or any other gases in it. No equipment is needed apart from a pump and a CO2 pipeline to the nearest oil field.
Not a bad idea. Maybe you can find a suitable oil field and persuade a distillery to locate nearby.

Reel$$

The project is supported by H.B. 469, Texas legislation enacted in 2009 to promote carbon capture power projects with low emissions.

Texas is certainly not interested in CO2 storage. Sounds very big and noisy. Why not clean up methane and burn it? In Texas just build your plant near the field - use the carbon stream for EOR.

Herm

The hot exhaust of the gas plant would probably enhance oil recovery... and the gas fields are air tight, over geologic times so there would be some CO2 mitigation after all.

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