Advancing Carbon Capture and Storage Technology with Oil and Gas Expertise

In the fight against climate change, the development of technologies for carbon capture and storage (CCS) plays a crucial role. Norwegian researchers from SINTEF, known for their expertise in the oil and gas sector, are now applying their knowledge to upscale a technology called LedaFlow for CCS applications. This groundbreaking initiative could revolutionize the transportation and injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) while aiding in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The multiphase flow technology, LedaFlow, was originally developed for the oil and gas industry to optimize the transportation of oil and gas through pipelines. SINTEF researchers have capitalized on this innovative tool to explore how CO2 behaves in similar pipelines. By understanding the behavior of CO2, we can ensure its safe transportation and injection into large subsurface reservoirs, a crucial step in CCS technology.

CCS Efforts in Norway

Norway is actively spearheading the implementation of CCS technologies in the oil and gas sector. The Northern Lights project, a collaboration between leading sector companies, aims to sequester up to 1.5 million tons of CO2 in subsea reservoirs by 2024, and an impressive total of five million tons by 2026. While few CO2 storage projects are currently operational in Norway, the Northern Lights project is set to operate at a much larger scale, involving the transportation and injection of gas from multiple sources using a network of different wells. Notably, CO2 will be captured from a variety of sources, including waste incineration and cement manufacture.

Termed CO2Flow, this innovation research project is a direct application of SINTEF’s expertise in flow behavior modeling and the development of the LedaFlow model. The project aims to predict CO2 flow behavior in pipelines by combining innovative experiments with the development of new data models. This will pave the way for large-scale CCS implementation in the oil and gas sector.

Predicting CO2 Flow Behavior

Understanding the behavior of CO2 in pipelines is essential for successful CCS implementation. SINTEF researcher Ivar Eskerud Smith emphasizes the need to consider various factors that may differ from those of oil and gas mixtures. By utilizing data models developed through the CO2Flow project, pipeline design can be optimized, including crucial considerations such as material selection and pipe diameter. Moreover, the project’s findings will contribute to cost-effective and safe pipeline operation, mitigating potential issues such as unstable flow or the formation of dry ice, which can lead to pipeline blockages.

Research Facilities and Collaboration

The SINTEF Multiphase Flow Laboratory in Tiller will be the primary site for developing the new data models. Additional experiments will take place at NTNU’s DeFACTO underground testing facility in Gløshaugen, Trondheim. Collaborating with SINTEF, Kongsberg Digital, the partner responsible for developing the LedaFlow model, will oversee testing, quality assurance, and commercialization activities.

The integration of oil and gas expertise into CCS technology development marks a significant step forward in the battle against climate change. Researchers at SINTEF have successfully adapted the multiphase flow technology, LedaFlow, to investigate CO2 behavior in pipelines, setting the stage for large-scale CCS implementation. By leveraging innovative experiments and data modeling, this groundbreaking research project is poised to revolutionize pipeline design and ensure the cost-effective and safe transportation and injection of CO2 into subsurface reservoirs. With ongoing efforts, Norway is leading the charge in industrial-scale CCS application, paving the way for a more sustainable future.


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