Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has long been considered as a potentially means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from carbon-intense industrial and power generation sources. Over the last few years, there has been intense discussion about the implementation and massification of CCS as a key technology to achieve the Net Zero goal in the decarbonization era. However, the number of projects implemented globally strictly for CO2 storage is relatively small compared to CO2 utilization schemes such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) programs. This is due to the challenges faced when using geological formations only as a storage vehicle for CO2. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the factors, in addition to economic constraints, that have slowed the massification of the process, especially in offshore storage implementation.
To identify the key factors for a successful implementation of an offshore CCS project, a critical analysis of 42 offshore CSS projects in different stages together with a survey using professional networks were performed. The study started with the identification of key projects scheduled/planned or in the implementation stage worldwide, followed by the review of available technical and economic data, the status of project implementation, from permitting to field development, and finally an analysis of the collected data from the survey.
From the analysis, key factors to implement CCS offshore were identified and discussed. High costs, complex and non-standardized regulations, and lack of governmental incentives in many countries are key factors in lack of offshore CCS implementation. CCS solutions are available currently for onshore projects, but solutions for pipeline or commercial vessel transport CO2 are still being tested with an implementation expected in the near future.
In-depth characterization of the geological formation planned for storage is critical, therefore advanced tools and techniques are required. It is necessary to validate existing models and simulation models for offshore storage and to develop new tools for low-cost monitoring systems. Critical factors for offshore CCS implementation include the identification and development of technologies to reduce operative costs; development of professional skills for field implementation; use of digital technology to improve data processing; improvement of exiting offshore infrastructure; and the engagement of public and private sectors to reduce the timeline for CSS offshore implementation. Based on the current status of CCS projects, actions to close the existing barriers and minimize risks for offshore implementation are recommended.
This paper offers a critical analysis of the requirements for offshore CCS implementation including an overview of projects currently in operation and projects in planning phase along with a technical assessment of the barriers that make offshore CCS projects less advantageous in industry.