DNV GL and EPCRC advance CO2 pipeline technology for CCS

CO2 cloud from a rupture test performed at DNV GL Spadeadam. Image: DNV GL

CO2 pipeline efficiency and safety are critical to the rollout and scaling up of carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions, which are needed to meet the Paris Agreement greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Norwegian CLIMIT Programme and Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science have awarded DNV GL and Energy Pipelines CRC (EPCRC) just over NOK 40 million for a test program for CO2 pipelines involving large scale testing at DNV GL’s Spadeadam test site in the U.K.

Pipelines are the most common way of transporting large quantities of CO2 in CCS projects, such as the Shell Quest project north of Edmonton, but the cost can be significant due to the quantity of material. In the absence of accurate fracture models, CO2 pipelines must be either designed and constructed conservatively or subjected to full-scale propagating tests. Accurate modelling of CO2 dispersion to identify the hazards posed by small releases or a major leakage contributes to safe designs as well as better permitting processes and community consultation activities.

In order to reduce the future cost of CO2 pipelines while ensuring the required safety level, DNV GL and EPCRC are cooperating to advance optimal pipeline design through new simulation models and full-scale fracture tests. The Norwegian CLIMIT Programme and Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science are each providing funding of NOK 20.8 million for this test program running from 3Q 2016 to 1Q 2019.

The test program, Improving the safety and efficiency of CO2 pipelines by developing and validating predictive models for CO2 pipeline design, is unique as it connects the Norwegian and Australian support schemes for funding R&D in the CCS value chain in a joint effort to address an issue that is important for the efficient and safe transportation of CO2.

DNV GL and EPCRC will make the results available to the wider CCS market by updating the standards DNV-RP-J202 Design and Operation of CO2 Pipelines and DNV-OS-F101 Submarine Pipeline Systems as well as by improving software. The test program will address the existing knowledge gaps in the fracture control of high pressure pipelines by conducting large-scale fracture-propagation testing of dense-phase CO2 pipelines at DNV GL's Spadeadam test site in the U.K.

Both EPCRC and DNV GL have carried out extensive work on running fractures in pipelines. EPCRC has a model for predicting running fractures in gas pipelines and will use the test results to validate this model for CO2 transport. DNV GL has experience of designing and implementing complex test programs as well as a long track record with CO2 pipelines for major joint industry projects such as CO2PIPETRANS and SARCO2B.

“Innovation and science are crucial for technology development and the implementation of best practices for CO2 management. Through this joint test program, we can achieve much more than if we worked separately,” says project manager Valerie Linton from EPCRC.

“The test results and simulations will contribute to the faster and cheaper introduction of CO2 transport. This will be an important step to accelerate the full deployment of CCS," adds project manager Bente Leinum from DNV GL- Oil & Gas.

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