The industry and government organizations in the CCP jointly fund and actively participate in the activities program. They share and contribute their own internal technical resources, as well as engaging the world's leading technologists, scientists, economists, policy makers and academics from universities, technology companies and research institutions to investigate and develop realistic and cost-effective CCS solutions.
Through this international public-private collaboration, the CCP is playing a significant role in the rapid development of CCS technology and the transfer of scientific and engineering know-how in the field. The CCP is split into teams covering four key CCS areas:
- Storage, Monitoring and Verification (SMV)
- Policies and Incentives
Phase One - 2000 to 2003
The first phase of work from 2000-2003 began at a time when the potential role that CCS could play in climate change mitigation, and the technologies required for deployment at scale, were not adequately understood. What was clear was that the cost of available technologies appeared to be expensive and there was the opportunity for R&D to make significant improvements in the cost and energy penalty of capture. The CCP was a pioneer of CCS evaluation. In terms of geological storage, the aim was first to close technical gaps in existing expertise, particularly around wellbore integrity, storage optimization and monitoring. A systematic approach was developed for geological site selection, storage operation, site closure, and specific CO2 monitoring tools were qualified.
CO2 capture techniques have been in commercial use in the oil and gas industry for many years and will be used in currently planned CCS projects. However, the challenge for the CCP was to develop next generation technologies capable of cost-effective capture on a whole new scale and on different process streams. The high cost of capture was a particular concern, thus Phase One's initial aim was to identify technologies that could deliver high performance with a 50% reduction in costs. Some 200 capture technologies were initially assessed and compared to state-of-the-art post-combustion and gasification technologies.
Based on both technical and economic criteria, these were ultimately narrowed down to a small number which would undergo further development. Early estimated cost savings ranged from about 35-60%.
Capture technologies were evaluated within selected gas-fired power plant and refinery scenarios as relevant industrial applications and were assessed through external studies during Phase One and Two. Although it was difficult to obtain consistent cost and performance assumptions to compare technologies, due to varying levels of process maturity and a wide range of applications and potential site conditions, every effort was made to rationalize output from these studies to compare and assess costs.
Phase Two - 2004 to 2009
The further development of the most promising technologies was the principal aim of the Phase Two capture program, which ran from 2004-2009. The Phase Two goal was to realize the expected cost reductions, reduce cost uncertainties and develop at least one technology ready for field demonstration.
Within the Phase Two storage programme, the objectives centered around addressing topics that have been high on the international agenda, including storage site assessment, wellbore integrity and the geomechanical stability of reservoirs and cap rocks. Significant advances have been made, which lay the foundations for the critical third phase of work. Storage science, and in particular the understanding around well integrity, has successfully been built up through a systematic research and development effort, resulting in a comprehensive body of knowledge about the technologies. This provides deeper understanding for the wide range of stakeholders who will ultimately be charged with decision making around CO2 storage.
A number of next generation capture technologies, with potential for widespread deployment by 2015-2020, have been identified. Several appear to be technically feasible and show cost reduction potential when compared to the best technologies available today, with at least one now ready for field demonstration. Cost uncertainties have been significantly reduced.
Phase Three - 2009 to 2013
Phase Three began in late 2009 and is scheduled to run until 2013. This phase of work is absolutely critical in preparing the ground for widespread deployment of the next generation of CCS technologies. Thus, much of Phase Three's work will be focused upon moving from theory to reality.
The capture programme will further develop those technologies identified as having high potential, with at least one full scale demonstration. CCP has to date two demonstrations planned. One such demonstration is currently in the advanced stages of construction, oxyfiring on a FCC Prototype unit located at the Petrobras research complex in São Mateus, Paraná state, Brazil and a second demonstration is planned for 2011, oxyfiring on a Once- Through Steam Generator (OTSG) in Alberta, Canada.
Storage activity will focus upon R&D and field trials of monitoring, well integrity and subsurface technologies to further improve understanding around the security of long term storage. And there will also be an increased effort to share this knowledge with a broader range of thought leaders and stakeholder groups, to further their understanding and provide them with the information they need.