Guest blog CCS

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I recently met Dr. Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, who sought to make the case for CCS.  Our UKIP position is clear: we think that CCS by itself is simply a pointless waste of money that drives up energy costs unnecessarily (although as long as carbon paranoia persists, we would rather see coal-fired generation with CCS than no coal-fired generation at all).  However Dr. Warren makes the case for CCS with the CO2 actually used for “Enhanced Oil Recovery” (EOR) in North Sea oilfields.  I feel he deserves a hearing, so I invited him to write a short article which I attach below.

My reaction to his argument is simple: it depends on the numbers.  If the economic benefits of EOR actually pay for the cost of CCS, then I have no problem with it.  My thanks to Dr. Warren for providing the article.

The untapped value of enhanced oil recovery to the North Sea

The North Sea oil and gas industry was once considered the energy power engine of the UK, but since 2006 we have become a net importer of oil. Not only does this mean compromised energy security, but job losses. Clearly, we need to do everything we can to ensure that an industry of which the UK is so proud, can once again flourish.

Part of the solution is deploying technologies which help us make the most of our reserves. That’s where carbon capture and storage (CCS) comes in: CCS captures carbon dioxide from industrial and power processes, and transports it in pipes before it is stored permanently under the ground.  But rather than just lock the carbon dioxide underground, it can also be put to useful work via enhanced oil recovery (EOR): where carbon dioxide is injected into oilfields to force out extra oil.

To date, there hasn’t been enough carbon dioxide supply to get this going, but CCS changes this. The UK’s CCS Commercialisation Programme aims to deliver up to two world leading CCS projects. These projects promise to capture around 75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, with the potential to increase the amount of oil recovered from UK reservoirs by 5-25%[1]. Government urgently needs to follow the lead of others around the world who have used CCS to get the most out of their indigenous oil reserves – US business, for example, has been using EOR to provide a competitive edge for decades.

Building the CCS infrastructure doesn’t have to be expensive either: EOR could provide the UK with an additional income of £13billion[2] (once and if oil prices pick up), which would cover the CCS build programme: giving us ‘CCS for free’. And as a further bonus, by reducing carbon emissions CCS could help us retain some of our existing domestic industries, such as coal and gas power generation, as well as support vital energy-intensive industries (such as chemicals, steel and cement manufacture sectors) which employ 800,000 people directly and in supply chains[3].

It’s our responsibility to ensure that we do everything we can to secure the future of North Sea industry.  With unparalleled skills in the oil and gas sector, as well as a unique geography and geology, EOR via CCS may be part of the solution: it would be wholly irresponsible to ignore it.

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9 Responses to Guest blog CCS

  1. Richard111 says:

    Something doesn’t make sense with this CCS idea. Just what power source will be used to drive the CCS technology? It will have to be totally ‘carbon emission’ free to be worth while. It will also have to be 100% efficient which present ‘green’ power sources are not.
    The Romans went funny because they used lead pipes for their water. Just what are these current ‘global saviours’ are drinking?

  2. martinbrumby says:

    With all due respect, this is bunkum.
    If the economics of extra oil recovery would pay for CCS, the oil companies would be doing it already. (In a few cases, they already are, but not generally using power station flue gas as a feed stock for CO2.)
    Even weapons-grade dopes like Potato Ed Davey would be reluctant to throw Billions of tax payers’ money in order to enhance oil recovery.
    Would it not be cheaper to use Nitrogen to enhance recovery? No shortage of that!
    The only reason that Davey and his greenie chums propose CCS is to try to make coal powered electricity generation more expensive than BigWind and Solar. And to prevent anyone investing in new and more efficient coal burning power plant. This is why Miliband, Cameron & Clegg all insist ‘no new coal generation without CCS’. In other words, ‘no coal’.
    Meanwhile, India, China, Germany and even Japan are building more coal fired generation capacity as fast as they can. Without CCS.
    They are absolutely right to do so.
    In my opinion, Dr. Luke Warren and his chums should be charged with conspiracy to defraud the long suffering tax payer.

  3. Brin Jenkins says:

    All energy will eventually be lost to us as it heat flows from hot to cold in one direction only, eventually all be lost heating the vast Universe to an unmeasurable small degree. That is a law of physics, a one way flow only, so should we not concentrate on efficiency only? Minimise all losses of what stored energy we use, not waste it on silly ideas of saving the planet due to CO2.

    Incidently why is CO2 and CO still confused in this Greenie junk science fad?

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2008/03/25/202471/the-biggest-source-of-mistakes-c-vs-co2/

    “Some people use carbon rather than carbon dioxide as a metric. The fraction of carbon in carbon dioxide is the ratio of their weights. The atomic weight of carbon is 12 atomic mass units, while the weight of carbon dioxide is 44, because it includes two oxygen atoms that each weigh 16. So, to switch from one to the other, use the formula: One ton of carbon equals 44/12 = 11/3 = 3.67 tons of carbon dioxide. Thus 11 tons of carbon dioxide equals 3 tons of carbon, and a price of $30 per ton of carbon dioxide equals a price of $110 per ton of carbon.”
    I

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Plenty on CO2 Sequestration here: (numbers and history)

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Carbon_Capture_and_Storage

    And the pipeline(s) have to go undersea. Madness driven by earlier madness?

  5. ancientpopeye says:

    Surely this only applies if you embrace the theory that CO2 is a problem?

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Exactly! but not explaining what they actually mean by a carbon footprint plays into confusion? Tie them down to explaining precisely what is meant, and then explain the mechanisms involved. This is never done, only links to other’s opinions. Never ever do greenies explain, because they cant!

  6. Richard111 says:

    Was trying to discuss this with my wife when she exclaimed in a shocked voice, “Why are they hiding all that heat? They should use it to boil water and run generators instead of throwing it away!”🙂

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