Risk-management services firm DNV recently issued the world's first certificate of fitness for a carbon dioxide (CO2) storage development plan to Shell's Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Canada. The proposed Quest project will capture and permanently store underground more than one million tons of CO2 per year from its Scotford upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
With the cooperation of industry and governments, DNV recently developed recommended guidelines and best practices for CO2 geological storage selection and risk assessment, and was commissioned by Shell to coordinate a comprehensive review to assess the suitability of the Quest project's underground storage formation to safely and permanently store injected CO2. The review also assessed the project's measurement, monitoring and verification program to validate that it would demonstrate effective containment. DNV assembled a panel of seven CCS experts from academia and research institutions to perform the review.
Based on the conclusions of the expert panel, DNV certified that Shell's storage development plan is fit for purpose based upon a number of different metrics, such as sufficient storage capacity; long-term containment; proper risk-management plans; and a measurement, monitoring and verification program capable of continuously demonstrating containment.
"Through developing guidelines and standards for CCS in collaboration with governments and industry, DNV has taken an instrumental role toward paving the way for safe and cost-effective deployment of CCS," Jørg Aarnes, Principal Consultant at DNV, said. "But while regulations, guidelines and standards may help clarify the rules of the game, the main challenge is demonstrating compliance with these rules. The expert panel validation of the Quest storage development plan is a first of its kind in the world and provides independent assurance to stakeholders that CO2 storage will be safely and responsibly managed."
CCS technology represents an opportunity to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions from large-point sources (e.g., coal and gas-fired power plants, oil sands/bitumen processing refineries, iron and steel mills, cement factories, etc.) and has the potential to make a significant contribution to worldwide efforts to mitigate climate change. The experience gained through the early implementation of large-scale CCS projects, such as Quest, are essential to develop the capability to enable industrial facilities to implement CCS technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.