Close US-Norway CCS collaboration
US ass. secretary of Energy, Chris Smith (right) visited TCM last year
Norway and the United States are strengthening cooperation across the Atlantic. The authorities are looking at how they can help the players in the CCS field perform research, development and testing at each other sites.
Claude R. Olsen
- When we experience little success in realizing CCS in Europe, with the lack of results, particularly in industrialization of large scale CCS, the United States is especially interesting to develop cooperation with, says Bjørn-Erik Haugan Gassnova . He has a central role in cooperation talks with US authorities and industrial players.
He points out three reasons why the United States is highly relevant as partner:
1.USA has many strong players in research, both in geology and capture technology, and has many industrial players.
2.The US authorities provide substantial funding and direction in the CCS area. This has been a big support for the industry.
3.The US has a long track record for utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. The country has built up extensive infrastructure for CO2 transport and has developed a commercial trading market for CO2.
Norway is now actively working to attract US technology providers to come to test at Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM).
- We work specifically with getting one or more of the approximately ten to twelve technologies that are considered mature for upscaling to run tests at TCM. We hope that the first US company can start testing at TCM next year, says Haugan.
He encourages the American companies to build modules in the US that are easy to transport, similar to what Aker has done with their mobile test unit (MTU) which has been at test sites around the world.
- One way to get financing in place is that an American company has its mobile test unit made in the United States funded by the Department of Energy, while the actual testing takes place in Norway with a possible co-financing of testing from Norway and the US, says Haugan.
Department of Energy (DOE) has two main funding options for the development of new capture technologies: Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which supports the development of new technologies in the early stage, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), which supports projects in industrial scale.
ARPA has approximately 15 CCS projects while NETL has approximately 70 capture projects at various stages.
- Much of the dialogue with the Americans have been related to increased cooperation, for example by giving extra points for international projects and co-financing. NETL has in their last two announcements encouraged stronger international cooperation, also with regard to testing outside the US, says Haugan.
Large storage applications
Norway has Sleipner and Snøhvit as major industrial projects for transport and storage of CO2. But offshore fields in operation are not particularly suitable for their own testing programs. The US has a number of large storage programmes onshore. In several states, industry and government have cooperation for storage pilots. Some of them have stored up to one million tonnes of CO2.
This research community mat Norwegian researchers and industry be able to participate in. We could send our people to the US to participate and to learn. Through one of the three most recent announcements, the CLIMIT program has one especially suitedooperation with North America.
CLIMIT has already earlier focused on international cooperation including North America, UK, Netherlands and Germany. There are several projects in the portfolio with partners from these countries.
An MoU laid the foundation
Eleven years ago Norway and the United States signed an agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the energy sector. The cooperation is currently focusing on CCS.
- The American institutions reporting to the Department of Energy which are funding CCS research, shows very big interest in Norwegian activities in the field. Norway has significant projects like Statoils Sleipner, very strong research communities with spearheaded by SINTEF and Technology Centre Mongstad, says Haugan.
The Norwegian Ministtry of Petroleum and the Department of Energy in the United States have set up one forum on the capture side, and one on the transport and storage side. Gassnova and TCM are active on capture from Norwegian side, and on transport and storage The Norwegian Petroleum directorate, Gassnova and Statoil are active, in addition to the research communities.