Oil and Gas Rigs Could Soon Be Reassigned to Fight Climate Crisis by Storing CO2 Emissions

  
Via:  tig  •  4 months ago  •  27 comments

Oil and Gas Rigs Could Soon Be Reassigned to Fight Climate Crisis by Storing CO2 Emissions
Removing platforms at large expense is short-sighted. Re-using them to dispose of CO2 in rocks several kilometers beneath the seabed will not only be cheaper, but provides a cost-effective means of cutting the UK’s CO2 emissions to meet the 2050 net-zero target.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Rather than spending millions of dollars to decommission oceanic oil and gas rigs, new research suggests that they could be used to combat the climate crisis.

A new study from the University of Edinburgh says that North Sea oil and gas rigs could be modified to pump vast quantities of carbon dioxide emissions into rocks below the seabed.

The researchers say that refitting old platforms to act as pumping stations for self-contained CO2 storage sites would be 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the structures.

The sites would store emissions generated by natural gas production, and could also be used to lock away CO2 produced by other sources—such as power stations—helping to combat climate change.

The scientists analyzed data from the Beatrice oilfield—15 miles off the north east coast of Scotland. They found that existing platforms could be re-used as storage sites by making minor modifications.

Using a computer model, they worked out that, over a 30-year period, the scheme would be around 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the Beatrice oilfield, which is likely to cost more than £260 million ($316 million).

Large amounts of natural gas and heat energy can still be extracted from saltwater in exhausted oil and gas fields, the team found. The gas can be used as a fuel or burnt on platforms to generate electricity.

Mixing the saltwater from the oil field with CO2 produced by burning the gas enables it to be injected deep underground for permanent safe storage, researchers say.

The scheme would bring down the costs of storing carbon emissions and postpone expensive decommissioning of North Sea oil and gas infrastructure, the team says.

The study, published in  International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control , was completed as part of the University of Edinburgh’s GeoEnergy MSc program.

Lead author Jonathan Scafidi, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “Removing platforms at large expense is short-sighted. Re-using them to dispose of CO2 in rocks several kilometers beneath the seabed will not only be cheaper, but provides a cost-effective means of cutting the UK’s CO2 emissions to meet the 2050 net-zero target.”

Dr. Stuart Gilfillan, also of the School of GeoSciences, who co-ordinated the study, said: “Our study shows, for the first time, that natural gas production from saltwater can be combined with CO2 storage in the North Sea.

“The potential revenue provided by extending natural gas production in the North Sea could help kick-start a world-leading carbon capture and storage industry in the UK,” he added.


Reprinted from the  University of Edinburgh


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TᵢG
1  seeder  TᵢG    4 months ago
The researchers say that refitting old platforms to act as pumping stations for self-contained CO2 storage sites would be 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the structures.

Thinking outside of the box.

There are plenty of sensible, practical steps we can take that reduce CO2 emissions.

 
 
 
Enoch
1.1  Enoch  replied to  TᵢG @1    4 months ago

Dear Friend Tig: Technology is a response to the challenges of life. 

Often when it gives us benefits, it creates problems.

Further use of it to address said problems is a step I high support.

Important article.

Great idea.

Well done on all fronts.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2  Greg Jones    4 months ago

Research into carbon sequestration should be more highly promoted and funded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_sequestration

 
 
 
SteevieGee
2.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 months ago

Wait a minute Greg...  I thought climate change was a hoax.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  SteevieGee @2.1    4 months ago

I've never said that.

I am somewhat skeptical about the validity of some of hysterical claims the pro climate change crowd spews.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
3  Ed-NavDoc    4 months ago

This is certainly a much  more realistic idea than a certain politician's "New Green Deal"...

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4  dave-2693993    4 months ago

Some years ago I read about the concept of storing CO2 underground as a way of managing it.

Looks like someone has come across a way to implement it.

This will be interesting to follow.

 
 
 
cjcold
4.1  cjcold  replied to  dave-2693993 @4    4 months ago

I am looking forward to watch pigs fly

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  cjcold @4.1    4 months ago

LOL, maybe they can cross pigs with Dumbo the Elephant. 

 
 
 
Enoch
4.1.2  Enoch  replied to  dave-2693993 @4.1.1    4 months ago

Dear Brother Dave: Who gets the frequent flyer miles?

Smiles.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Freefaller
4.1.3  Freefaller  replied to  dave-2693993 @4.1.1    4 months ago
LOL, maybe they can cross pigs with Dumbo the Elephant

I'm pretty sure the pig is going to want to be the top in that pairingjrSmiley_68_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Tacos!
5  Tacos!    4 months ago

Sounds like a nice idea. How many of these do we need to have going just to break even on the CO2?

 
 
 
TᵢG
5.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @5    4 months ago

Storing carbon by redeploying existing obsolete equipment rather than spending money dismantling said equipment is presented here as an example of thinking out of the box.   This would be one of many measures.  The point is that there are all sorts of ways to work smart.

This method is at best a cost effective method for keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.   The key problem is that it is an ongoing cost with no benefit other than environmental.  An arguably better approach is to not simply store the carbon but to reuse it in a meaningful fashion.   To generate revenue that can be used to perpetuate this method.   This is know as carbon capture and utilization.

 
 
 
Enoch
5.1.1  Enoch  replied to  TᵢG @5.1    4 months ago

Dear Friend Tig: You raise a good point.

There are many positive ways to address the human effect on the climate that that make money and create well paying employment. 

The future looks bright when we view a problem, and see opportunities.

E.

 
 
 
TᵢG
5.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Enoch @5.1.1    4 months ago
The future looks bright when we view a problem, and see opportunities.

It is akin to the principle of multitasking (which makes very effective use of the resource of time).  Using a resource to achieve better results via multiple purposes is a very important principle.

 
 
 
Enoch
5.1.3  Enoch  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.2    4 months ago

Dear Friend Tig: Agreed.

Enoch (Multi-tasking a thing of four simultaneously).

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @5.1    4 months ago
The point is that there are all sorts of ways to work smart.

Sure, but that doesn't address my question. If you're trying to raise the level of the ocean, by two feet for example, you can spit into it and you have added water. But is it worth the effort? How many quadrillions of times will you have to spit just to raise the global level one micron?

Here, we should be trying to slow or even reverse the increase of CO2. So, is this just a feel good idea? Do we need a billion such platforms working at once for a thousand years? This story says it will help cut emissions. Great! By how much? If it's a billionth of a percent, then it's just feel good talk.

The main benefit that is actually quantified in this story is that it is a cheaper future for the platform than tearing it down. Again, that sounds good, but if the environmental benefit is actually close to zero, then it would probably be even better to let the thing rot. That choice is free.

 
 
 
TᵢG
5.1.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.4    4 months ago
Sure, but that doesn't address my question.

I do not know the answer.   The article does not go into any details on this.

As I noted, I did not seed this as the magical solution to AGW or even to detail this particular method in any technical way.   I seeded this to note that there are clever ways for us to kill two (or more) birds with a single stone .

If you are sincerely interested in the details for this particular method then you might consider starting your research with the embedded link:

The study, published in  International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control , was completed as part of the University of Edinburgh’s GeoEnergy MSc program.
 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.6  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.5    4 months ago
I do not know the answer.

That's fine. I don't actually expect you personally to know the answer. To me, it seemed an obvious question and one I would have asked if I were interviewing someone for the story. 

This is not the only topic where the basic question "would it matter?" should be asked. We have a lot of problems and people come up with ideas (some interesting, some silly) for solving them. In the world or here on NT, we often get into arguments about these ideas without exploring their efficacy. If you chase those ideas down a bit, you sometimes find out that - at best - they are little different than spitting in the ocean. I'm in favor of something doable that would have an impact.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
5.1.7  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @5.1    4 months ago
The key problem is that it is an ongoing cost with no benefit other than environmental.

That is what occurred to me as well, but presumably, they included that factor for the 30 year period they mentioned? I'm a little vague about how they get the carbon to the platform, though. Not sure I understood that part. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
5.1.8  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.4    4 months ago
Here, we should be trying to slow or even reverse the increase of CO2. So, is this just a feel good idea? Do we need a billion such platforms working at once for a thousand years? This story says it will help cut emissions. Great! By how much? If it's a billionth of a percent, then it's just feel good talk.

A good point. I was wondering if one could perhaps do coal or natural gas power generation on such a platform and put the emissions into the ground directly? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
5.1.9  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @5.1.7    4 months ago
I'm a little vague about how they get the carbon to the platform, though. Not sure I understood that part. 

This technology is addressing the storage problem.   Other technologies would be involved for capture and transport.   In a computer analogy, consider this to be the hard drive technology.   Other technologies such as the analogous keyboard, mouse, CPU, network interface, bus, etc. would also be required.

 
 
 
TᵢG
5.1.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @5.1.8    4 months ago
I was wondering if one could perhaps do coal or natural gas power generation on such a platform and put the emissions into the ground directly? 

This solution produces methane and geothermal energy (for local use) from processing the brine it uses to store the CO2.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    4 months ago

Carbon dioxide is already being used for enhanced oil and gas recovery.  There is currently about 4500 miles of CO 2 pipeline infrastructure in the United States and Canada used for enhanced oil and gas recovery.  ( A Review of the CO 2 Pipeline Infrastructure in the U.S., April 21, 2015 - note: link opens a PDF)

The technical challenge is capturing CO 2 .  As fossil fuel power stations go offline the problem of capturing CO 2 becomes more difficult.  While retaining the North Sea oil platforms for CO 2 injection is a good idea, there currently isn't a way to supply the oil platforms with CO 2 .

The solution of carbon dioxide injection is going to require a lot more engineering to develop carbon capture than just repurposing drill holes.  And shutting down coal fired power plants will make carbon capture much more difficult.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
6.1  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @6    4 months ago

Maybe put the CO2 generators on the platforms themselves so it's already there?  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Drakkonis @6.1    4 months ago
Maybe put the CO2 generators on the platforms themselves so it's already there?

That might be a reasonable solution.  But it's still going to require engineering for that to happen.  Right now the governmental emphasis on science rather than engineering.  Paying the private sector to do the applied R&D will be more expensive. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
6.1.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Nerm_L @6.1.1    4 months ago
That might be a reasonable solution. But it's still going to require engineering for that to happen. Right now the governmental emphasis on science rather than engineering. Paying the private sector to do the applied R&D will be more expensive.

My thoughts as well. Perhaps this is what so called "carbon tax" could be used for? The thing I hate about carbon tax is that it never really explains how it will reduce carbon emissions in the stories I read about it. 

 
 
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