Schaper Energy Consulting

The Carbon Corner - Issue #60

Published 7 months ago • 5 min read

Recent global developments highlight the growing importance of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the battle against climate change. Governments and energy companies are actively investing in CCS initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and support decarbonization efforts. ExxonMobil and the Indonesian government have signed MoUs to explore CCS potential, while in the U.S., Chevron and startups like Noya are focusing on hydrogen, biofuels, and direct air capture for cleaner energy solutions. Wintershall Dea and Carbon Catalyst are advancing the Poseidon CCS project in the Southern North Sea to reduce emissions in England. Additionally, companies like BKV and EnLink Midstream are launching CCS operations in Texas to capture emissions from their activities and beyond. These developments underscore CCS's increasing significance in achieving a sustainable, low-carbon future, with collaboration between governments and industries driving innovation and progress.

Wyoming Considers Extending Deadline for Carbon Capture in Power Plants

Lawmakers in Wyoming are considering a draft bill that would extend the deadline for power plant operators to comply with the state's low-carbon emissions standard from 2030 to 2038. The bill would also exempt regulated utilities with fewer than 10,000 customers, benefiting Black Hills Energy, which serves about 2,600 customers in Newcastle.

The proposed legislation would set a minimum standard requiring coal-fueled power units to capture at least 75% of the carbon dioxide emissions. This extension of the 2020 law aims to encourage retrofitting coal power plants with carbon capture technology instead of shutting them down, with the hope that federal tax credits for carbon sequestration will make the economics more favorable. However, concerns exist about the cost burden on ratepayers and the feasibility of retrofitting aging coal units.

Tracy, California Unveils First Commercial Carbon Capture Facility with Notable Dignitaries in Attendance

The nation's first commercial direct capture facility for sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been unveiled in Tracy, California, with notable figures like U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis in attendance. Heirloom, a climate technology company, employs limestone to remove CO2 directly from the air and store it permanently. Given the significant contribution of excess CO2 emissions to climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends removing 5 to 10 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. Limestone, a readily available and non-toxic rock found in numerous countries, is used in the process.

Max Scholten, head of commercialization at Heirloom, explained the carbon removal process, emphasizing that their technology enhances limestone's CO2 absorption capacity within days, a much faster timeline compared to natural processes. Although it requires occasional limestone replenishment, the company emphasizes recycling to minimize environmental impact. The launch of this facility has political significance, with Sen. Anna Caballero emphasizing the potential for carbon capture and sequestration in the Central Valley to create jobs and address affordability issues. California Senate Bill 905, co-authored by Caballero and Sen. Nancy Skinner, directs the California Air Resources Board to oversee carbon capture and CO2 removal projects. Lt. Gov. Kounalakis celebrated California's history of pioneering renewable energy projects and marked this facility's opening as a historic moment in carbon capture on an industrial scale.

BKV and EnLink Begin CO2 Injection at Barnett Zero CCS Facility in Texas

Energy companies BKV and Enlink Midstream have initiated carbon dioxide (CO2) injection at the Barnett Zero CCS facility in Texas. The CO2 waste is collected from EnLink's Bridgeport natural gas processing plant and neighboring operations, marking one of the first purpose-drilled, Class II commercial carbon sequestration wells in the United States.

The facility is expected to sequester up to 210,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually. EnLink will transport natural gas generated by BKV in the Barnett Shale to its processing plant in Bridgeport, where the CO2 waste stream will be collected, compressed, and sequestered through BKV's adjacent injection control well. BKV and EnLink aim to capture CO2 emissions from their operations and third-party companies involved in natural gas production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. BKV CEO Chris Kalnin outlined the company's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions from its upstream operations by the early 2030s.

Wintershall Dea Joins Poseidon CCS Project in the North Sea

Carbon Catalyst has successfully completed the farmout of a 10% working interest in the Poseidon carbon storage license located in the Southern North Sea sector of the UK Continental Shelf. This marks Wintershall Dea's entry into its second UK carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, adding to its portfolio, which includes the Camelot license. In March, Wintershall Dea and INEOS demonstrated the first full cross-border CCS value chain in Europe by pilot injecting CO2 from a Belgian emitter into the depleted Nini West oil field. The Poseidon CCS project, awarded by the North Sea Transition Authority, has the potential to significantly decarbonize the East and Southeast of England and is expected to be operational by 2029, with an initial CO2 injection rate of approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum, ramping up to 40 Mtpa over a 40-year period. Fergus Marcroft, Executive Director at Carbon Catalyst, welcomed Wintershall Dea to the project, highlighting their relevant experience in CCS.

Indonesia and ExxonMobil Sign MoUs to Advance Carbon Capture and Storage Initiatives

The Indonesian government and ExxonMobil have signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) to support the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Indonesia. The agreements were signed during a US-Indonesia bilateral meeting in Washington.

The MoUs aim to advance low-carbon industries, boost investment, and create jobs in Indonesia. Pertamina, the state-owned energy company, also signed an Amendment to the Principles of Agreement to progress the CCS Hub in collaboration with ExxonMobil. The CCS Hub is expected to offer significant geological storage capacity, allowing for the capture and injection of CO2 from domestic and regional industries, aligning with Indonesia's efforts in industrial decarbonization. Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif believes this collaboration will reduce emissions and generate job opportunities.

Santos and SK E&S Collaborate on Carbon Capture and Storage in Asia-Pacific Region

Australian energy company Santos and South Korean firm SK E&S have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the Asia-Pacific region. The firms will work together to develop a CCS hub in Darwin, Australia, and to secure additional CO2 storage capacity in the region. They also plan to create a transboundary business model to transport CO2 from Korea to Australia for underground storage. CCS is seen as a crucial tool in helping Asia decarbonize its energy systems. The International Energy Agency has estimated that up to 6 gigatons per annum of CCS capacity will be needed by 2050 to achieve global climate goals.

Schaper Energy Consulting is a professional engineering firm offering carbon strategy services to CCS site developers. Check out some examples of our projects here:

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