Neil Wildgust, Petroleum Technology Research Centre. This paper was first published in GE’s July 2013 issue.
Despite the recent setbacks of cancelled projects, and in the continued absence of adequate economic incentives, widespread deployment of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) remains an essential measure if continued global increases in fossil fuel consumption are to be balanced with curbs on emissions.
The scale of the challenge remains daunting - according to calculations by the International Energy Agency in 2009, approximately 150,000M.t of anthropogenic CO2 will need to be captured and permanently stored in the subsurface by 2050 if CCS is to contribute approximately 20% of the emissions cuts necessary to stabilise atmospheric concentrations at 450ppm. To date, considerably less than 100M.t have been geologically stored.