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DNV Issues First Certificate of Fitness for CO2 Storage

Friday, November 11, 2011

DNV has awarded the world's first certificate of fitness for safe CO2 storage to Shell's Quest Carbon Capture and Storage project.
The proposed Quest project will capture and permanently store underground more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year from its Scotford Upgrader, located near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
DNV, together with industry and governments, has recently developed recommended guidelines and best practices for CO2 geological storage selection and risk assessment, and were 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 provide the necessary rigor to demonstrate effective containment. DNV assembled a panel of seven CCS experts from academia and research institutions to perform the review over a two-week period.
"Through developing guidelines and standards for CCS in collaboration with governments and industry, DNV has taken an instrumental role towards paving the way for safe and cost-effective deployment of CCS," said Jørg Aarnes, Principal Consultant, DNV. "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."
"The DNV certification is important because it provides third-party validation that our project meets rigorous storage standards," says Ian Silk, Shell's Quest Venture Manager. "It also helps to confirm the capability and capacity of the Basal Cambrian Sands storage formation that we will be injecting into. Proving up this saline formation for storage, which underlies a good portion of the province of Alberta, is imperative to enable the future CCS projects that will be required to help the government achieve its targeted CO2 reductions."
CCS operators must perform extensive analysis and data collection to assess, validate and provide assurance to regulators and stakeholders that a particular set of geological formations is suitable for CO2 storage. Evidence must be provided to show that injected volumes of purified CO2 will be isolated and retained in the geological formations and that any associated risk to the environment is carefully managed through a tailored monitoring and verification program.
Validation of CO2 storage sites is a significant challenge because it requires a thorough understanding of the local geology and the behaviour that carbon dioxide exhibits when injected deep underground. 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. (Carbon Capture Journal)
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