Wintershall Dea considers converting North Sea pipelines to CO2
Germany's Wintershall Dea has teamed up with the OTH Regensburg university of applied sciences to look at ways that existing natural gas pipelines in the south North Sea can be converted to flow liquid CO2.
Countries surrounding the North Sea are advancing a number of carbon storage projects, looking to take advantage of the region's substantial offshore storage potential to decarbonise their industries. Some of these projects not only plan to use depleted gas reservoirs as storage sites, but also intend to make use of the gas pipelines that connect them to shore to flow the CO2.
There are more than 4,800 km of pipelines in the south North Sea, of which 1,200 km are operated by Wintershall Noordzee, a 50:50 joint venture between Wintershall Dea and Russia's Gazprom. Some of this network could be used for liquid CO2 transport, Wintershall Dea said, which is why the gas supplier has partnered with the Regensburg university for a feasibility study on this option.
Wintershall Dea also operates depleted reservoirs that could store the CO2, estimating that the Dutch North Sea alone could house around 800mn metric tons of CO2, equivalent to 30 years of emissions from Dutch industry.
"We are optimistic about the further investigations. Our calculations already show that existing offshore pipelines could be well suited for transporting liquid CO2," Wintershall Dea said. "Wintershall Dea is investing in CCS because we are convinced that it is a safe and affordable technology for decarbonisation."
Wintershall Noordzee controls 19 producing facilities in Dutch, UK, German and Danish waters. The company launched production at its latest new field, Sillimanite South, in January.