Projects

Large-Scale CCS Projects – Definitions

Definition of large-scale integrated CCS projects

Large-scale integrated CCS projects (LSIPs) are defined as projects involving the capture, transport, and storage of CO2 at a scale of:

  • at least 800,000 tonnes of CO2 annually for a coal–based power plant, or
  • at least 400,000 tonnes of CO2 annually for other emissions–intensive industrial facilities (including natural gas–based power generation).

The thresholds listed above correspond to the minimum amounts of CO2 typically emitted by commercial–scale power plants and other industrial facilities. Projects at this scale must inject anthropogenic CO2 into either dedicated geological storage sites and/or enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) operations, to be categorized by the institute as LSIPs. EOR may result in partial (incidental) or complete storage of injected CO2 in oil reservoirs, subject to technical and economic factors. The institute acknowledges that in some cases and jurisdictions, CO2-EOR operators and/or regulatory authorities may not operate or permit CO2-EOR sites for greenhouse gas mitigation purposes. Nevertheless, such EOR projects can demonstrate both the successful operation of full chain CCS projects and the secure underground injection of CO2 at industrial scale.

Asset lifecycle Definition

The Project Lifecycle Model shown below represents the various stages in the development of a CCS project as it moves through planning, construction, operation, closure, and post-closure. There are different systems available to define project stages, sometimes using different terminology, but all effectively use a similar lifecycle model. This framework reflects the decision points in a project lifecycle at which developers either decide to continue to commit resources to refine the project further (gateways) or assess that future benefits will not cover the expected costs.

 

 

A project is considered to be in ‘development planning’ when it is in the Identify, Evaluate, or Define stages. A project is considered to have entered construction (Execute stage) when a positive final investment decision has been taken (usually at the conclusion of the Define stage). When construction and related commissioning activities are completed, the project is in operation (Operate stage). Finally, the project moves to the process of ceasing operations (Closure stage).

In the Identify stage, a proponent carries out early studies and preliminary comparisons of alternatives to determine the business viability of a broad project concept. For example, an oil and gas company believes it could take concentrated CO2 from one of its natural gas processing facilities and inject and store the CO2 to increase oil production at one of its existing facilities. To start the process, the company would conduct preliminary desktop analysis of both the surface and subsurface requirements of the project to determine if the concept is viable and attractive. It is important that during the Identify stage, proponents consider all relevant aspects of the project (stakeholder management, project delivery, regulatory approvals, and infrastructure, as well as physical CCS facilities). Before progressing to the Evaluate stage, all options that meet the overall concept should be clearly identified.

In the Evaluate stage, the range of options that could be employed is examined to build on the broad project concept. For the oil and gas company, this would involve exploring:

  • which of its facilities, and possibly even facilities of other companies, might be best placed to provide the concentrated CO2 for the project
  • pipeline routes that could be utilised from each of these sites, and even alternative transport options such as shipping, if relevant
  • which oil production field is suitable for CO2 injection based on its proximity to the concentrated CO2, stage of oil production at the field, and other site factors.

For each option, the costs, benefits, risks, and opportunities are identified. During the Evaluate stage, project proponents must continue to consider, for each option, all relevant aspects of the project (i.e. stakeholder management, project delivery, regulatory approvals, infrastructure, as well as physical CCS facilities). At the end of this stage, the preferred option is selected and becomes the subject of the Define stage. No other options are studied in the Define stage.

In the Define stage, the selected option is investigated in greater detail through feasibility and preliminary front-end engineering design (FEED). For the oil and gas company, this would involve determining the specific technology to be used, design and overall project costs, required permits and approvals, and key risks to the project. Other activities during the Define stage include conducting focused stakeholder engagement processes, seeking out finance or funding opportunities, and undertaking tender processes for engineering, procurement, and contracting suppliers.

At the end of the Define stage, the project must be sufficiently defined for a final investment decision to be made. The level of confidence in costing estimates should be ±10–15 per cent for overall project capital costs. Collectively, the Identify, Evaluate, and Define stages can take between four and seven years. Development costs to reach an FID can be in the order of 10–15 per cent of overall project capital cost, depending on the size, industry, and complexity of the project.

In the Execute stage, the detailed engineering design is finalised, construction and commissioning of the plant occurs, and the organisation to operate the facility is established. Once this is completed, the project then moves into the Operate stage.

In the Operate stage, the CCS project is operated within regulatory requirements, and maintained and modified, as needed, to improve performance.

In the Closure stage, the CCS project is decommissioned to comply with regulatory requirements. The site is rehabilitated for future defined use and resources are allocated to manage post-closure responsibilities.

In the Post-closure period, the project is considered ‘Closed’, with assets having been decommissioned and a post-closure monitoring program implemented.

An integrated project is involved in each element of the CCS chain – capture, transport and storage. In reaching a conclusion about the overall lifecycle stage considered as most appropriate for a particular project, the Institute will initially select the description that is most representative of each of the capture, transport, and storage lifecycle stages of a particular project.  In reviewing the status of these individual lifecycle stages, the Institute will then assign an overall lifecycle stage to a project. The various descriptions of individual element lifecycle stages are summarised below.

CAPTURE ELEMENT LIFECYCLE STAGE

The capture facility is being decommissioned.

Closure

The proponent has commissioned a capture plant and is currently operating.

Operate

The investment decision has been made and the proponent is delivering the project, constructing/installing the capture technology at a plant, and establishing the organisational structures to manage it.

Execute

The proponent is in the process of demonstrating the likely technical and economic viability of a chosen technology, location, and project configuration at a capture plant, has selected a preferred option, and is seeking to achieve financial close.

Define

The proponent is still assessing the likely technical and economic viability of alternative technology, location, and project configurations at a capture plant, and assessing a selected range of options.

Evaluate

The proponent has identified the potential for a new or expanded business opportunity at a capture plant, intends to pursue feasibility of this opportunity, and has assessed there may be a business opportunity requiring further investigation.

Identify

TRANSPORT ELEMENT LIFECYCLE STAGE

Transportation of CO2 has ceased and the pipeline is being decommissioned.

Closure

Transportation of CO2 is happening along an operational pipeline (either singular or as part of a network).

Operate

Construction of a pipeline for transportation of CO2 is in progress.

Execute

Conversion of an existing pipeline for transportation of CO2 is in progress (requalification).

Execute

Design of a pipeline for transportation of COis in progress (preliminary route/corridor and design).

Define, Evaluate, Identify

STORAGE ELEMENT LIFECYCLE STAGE

Dedicated geological storage

The project is ceasing or has ceased injecting CO2.

Closure

The project has commissioned its storage facilities and is currently injecting CO2.

Operate

The project has applied, or been approved, for a CO2 injection permit or licence and is developing its storage facilities.

Execute

The project has performed site characterisation to determine which combination of storage site and engineering concept represents the most cost-effective solution for CO2 injection and storage.

Define

The project has assessed the suitability of one or more sites for long-term geological storage of CO2.

Evaluate

The project is exploring for suitable sites for long-term geological storage of CO2.

Identify

Enhanced oil (hydrocarbon) recovery (EOR)

The project is ceasing or has ceased injecting CO2.

Closure

The project is currently injecting CO2 for EOR or other industrial use.

Operate

The project has applied, or been approved, for a CO2 injection permit or license, is developing injection facilities, and has a contract agreement for procuring CO2.

Execute

The project has performed site characterisation analyses to establish the suitability of CO2 utilisation, and negotiations for procuring CO2 are being finalised.

Define

Opportunities for using and procuring CO2 have been identified and formal negotiations have commenced.

Evaluate

Opportunities for using and procuring CO2 are being identified.

Identify