THROUGHOUT THE LAST 12 years, the CLIMIT initiative has given Norway a leading position internationally in the capture, transport and storage of CO2. CLIMIT is now going in new directions to strengthen international cooperation.
One example of this is the Research Council of Norway, which coordinates a European initiative in which ten countries cooperate on sharing knowledge and joint announcements. This cooperation is called ACT – Accelerating CCS Technologies. In addition, the Research Council of Norway manages a secretariat for bilateral R&D cooperation with the USA.
All of this has led to increased international R&D cooperation that raises the quality of the research.
The Research Council of Norway also holds leading roles in strategically important international forums (IEAGHG and CSLF – Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum). This contributes to a coordinated international focus on CCS. As a result, all of the countries interested in CCS are pulling in the same direction.
The Norwegian plans for full-scale infrastructure for the transport and storage of CO2 will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening Norway's position in CCS. Industry actors in both Norway and abroad are anticipating the start of the full-scale Norwegian project, which will eventually allow the storage of CO2 from their own emission sources.
For the Government, it is of course important that the full-scale project will benefit Norway. In addition, this may establish the foundation for increased international cooperation. CLIMIT can contribute by supporting further development of technology based on learning from the project.
New research projects will benefit greatly from experience from the full-scale project, which will accelerate the development of technology. For Norway as a nation, it is also reasonable to expect that locations with a CO2 infrastructure will be more attractive for the establishment of new industry. Some of CLIMIT's projects linked to the demonstration project will be related to an evaluation of the technical solutions and the additional costs associated with connecting a plant to the potential infrastructure in the full-scale project.
INCREASING INTEREST FROM INDUSTRY
In 2017, CLIMIT R&D experienced rising interest and more applications from industry than in many years. The Norwegian process industry's increasing interest in CO2 management will probably result in even more applications for CLIMIT Demo in 2018.
In addition, there is interest from abroad in the opportunities that future full-scale Norwegian infrastructure will provide. SINTEF Energy and Chalmers University will be looking at the opportunities to test CO2 capture technology at Preem's refineries in Lysekil and Gothenburg.
Another example is CDI Global and its project partners SINTEF Tel-Tek, Elkem and Polchar, which will be evaluating the opportunities to move parts of Polchar's production of char (coke) to Norway with CO2 capture and a connection to the future CCS infrastructure.
The development of the full-scale Norwegian project has resulted in the oil companies becoming more active partners in projects that are supported by CLIMIT. The projects in this area can possibly contribute to reducing the risk and costs of the full-scale Norwegian project and other earlier CCS projects.
Statoil will conduct experiments with CO2 transport in pipelines, among other things. Experimental data from the project will be used to validate software for the simulation of CO2 flow ("flow assurance"). Another project, led by IFE with Shell and Statoil as partners, is studying corrosion in CO2 injection wells to identify how various impurities in the CO2 flow affect the corrosion rates for various pipe materials.
A cooperation project between DNVGL and the Australian research institution Energy Pipelines CRC is examining how pipelines should be dimensioned to avoid running fractures. The project conducted a test of running fractures in a pipeline in September 2017.
The full-scale Norwegian project has increased the industry's interest in participating in the development of CO2 storage.
Several new projects, motivated by the needs associated with the development of the Smeaheia storage site, have been under development in 2017 and will be submitted for resolution in 2018. Companies such as Norsar, Octio Geophysical and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute are developing technologies for monitoring CO2 storage sites. In addition, the oil companies are increasingly participating in competence-building projects and basic research led by research institutions and universities.
THE USA IS WITH US
Even though there is a great deal of interest in CCS in Europe, it is somewhat uncertain whether there is a political will to continue to focus on CCS. Norway has long enjoyed good bilateral research cooperation with the USA, and fortunately this cooperation has remained good throughout 2017. There are no indications that the USA will withdraw from international cooperation projects – not from Norway, nor from other countries.
As a pleasant expression of this, the USA hosted a special workshop on CO2 management, together with Saudi Arabia, during the major international initiative Mission Innovation. This resulted in international consensus on future research priorities and investment in CO2 management. Norwegian research communities put a clear mark on the workshop that was arranged in Houston, Texas in September. The participating countries in Mission Innovation, 22 countries plus the EU, have ambitions to double their research efforts in clean energy.