April 6, 2010 — DNV and the energy industry, with contribution from government agencies, have developed a guideline for safe and sustainable geological storage of CO2.
This unified procedural framework is intended for global use, supporting both industry and regulators, and is a breakthrough that should speed up the large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Deployment of CCS has been hampered by a lack of tailored regulatory frameworks and established industry practices. This was the key motivation for developing the CO2 Qualstore Guideline for Selection, Characterization and Qualification of Sites and Projects for Geological Storage of CO2.
The guideline provides a comprehensive and systematic process that covers the full lifecycle of a CO2 storage project, from screening and site selection to closure and transfer of responsibility from the operator back to the national state, taking into account the unique characteristics of each potential site.
The aim is to accelerate the implementation of CCS by providing a common, predictable and transparent basis for decision-making between project developers, operators and regulators.
Project developers will benefit from a procedural framework to select and manage sites, delivering consistency and efficiency based on best engineering practice and technology.
Regulators can use the guideline to verify that sites have been selected and assessed as suitable for geological storage of CO2, following a standardized and globally recognised procedure.
Verified implementation of CCS projects in compliance with this guideline should also help provide assurance to the general public that a storage site is selected based on a recognized process, will be safely and responsibly managed according to recommended practices for sustainable CO2 storage, and is in compliance with regulations, codes and standards.
Aarnes further emphasises that “while CCS alone will not solve the climate change challenge, it is a necessary part of the global mitigation strategy. The world’s energy demand cannot be met in the short term without continued use of fossil fuels. CCS is the only mature technology that may provide significant reduction of CO2 emissions from combustion of fossil fuels, and is therefore a key bridging technology to a renewable energy future.”
Leading engineering, oil and gas companies and government bodies were brought together by DNV to develop the CO2 Qualstore guideline 18 months ago. The procedural framework that was developed mirrors best practices within the oil and gas industry, reflects existing and emerging regulations, standards and directives relevant for geological storage of CO2, and draws on learnings from R&D and pilot CCS projects around the world.
With the world of CCS developing rapidly, the CO2Qualstore guideline will be updated periodically to keep pace of changes.