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Ocean storage Another proposed form of carbon storage is in the oceans. Several concepts have been proposed: 'dissolution' injects CO2 by ship or pipeline into the water column at depths of 1000 m or more, and the CO2 subsequently dissolves. 'lake' deposits CO2 directly onto the sea floor at depths greater than 3000 m, where CO2 is denser than water and is expected to form a 'lake' that would delay dissolution of CO2 into the environment. convert the CO2 to bicarbonates (using limestone) Store the CO2 in solid clathrate hydrates already existing on the ocean floor,or growing more solid clathrate. The environmental effects of oceanic storage are generally negative, and poorly understood. Large concentrations of CO2 could kill ocean organisms, but another problem is that dissolved CO2 would eventually equilibrate with the atmosphere, so the storage would not be permanent. Also, as part of the CO2 reacts with the water to form carbonic acid, H2CO3, the acidity of the ocean water increases. The resulting environmental effects on benthic life forms of the bathypelagic, abyssopelagic and hadopelagic zones are poorly understood. Even though life appears to be rather sparse in the deep ocean basins, energy and chemical effects in these deep basins could have far reaching implications. Much more work is needed here to define the extent of the potential problems. The time it takes water in the deeper oceans to circulate to the surface has been estimated to be in the order of 1600 years, varying upon currents and other changing conditions. Costs for deep ocean disposal of liquid CO2 are estimated at US$40−80/tonne CO2 (2002 USD). This figure covers the cost of sequestration at the power plant and naval transport to the disposal site. The bicarbonate approach would reduce the pH effects and enhance the retention of CO2 in the ocean, but this would also increase the costs and other environmental effects. An additional method of long term ocean based sequestration is to gather crop residue such as corn stalks or excess hay into large weighted bales of biomass and deposit it in the alluvial fan areas of the deep ocean basin. Dropping these residues in alluvial fans would cause the residues to be quickly buried in silt on the sea floor, sequestering the biomass for very long time spans. Alluvial fans exist in all of the world's oceans and seas where river deltas fall off the edge of the continental shelf such as the Mississippi alluvial fan in the Gulf of Mexico and the Nile alluvial fan in the Mediterranean Sea. Unfortunately, biomass and crop residues form an extremely important and valuable component of topsoil and sustainable agriculture. Removing them from the terrestrial equation is fraught with problems and would exacerbate nutrient depletion and increase dependence on chemical fertilizers and, therefore, petrochemicals, thus defeating the original intentions - to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere
In 1986 a natural carbon dioxide leak occured at Lake Nyos. The leakage killed 1,700 people and a large number of livestock. A major concern with CCS is whether leakage of stored CO2 will compromise CCS as a climate change mitigation option. For well-selected, designed and managed geological storage sites, IPCC estimates that risks are comparable to those associated with current hydrocarbon activity. CO2 could be trapped for millions of years, and although some leakage occurs upwards through the soil, well selected stores are likely to retain over 99% of the injected CO2 over 1000 years. Leakage through the injection pipe is a greater risk. Although the injection pipe is usually protected with Non-return valves (to prevent release on a power outage), there is still a risk that the pipe itself could tear and leak due to the pressure. A small incident of this type of CO2 leakage was the Berkel and Rodenrijs incident in December 2008, where a modest release of greenhouse gas emissions resulted in the deaths of a small group of ducks. In order to measure accidental carbon releases more accurately and decrease the risk of fatalities through this type of leakage, the implementation of CO2 alert meters around the project perimeter has been proposed. In 1986 a large leakage of naturally sequestered carbon dioxide rose from Lake Nyos in Cameroon and asphyxiated 1,700 people. While the carbon had been sequestered naturally, some point to the event as evidence for the potentially catastrophic effects of sequestering carbon. The Lake Nyos disaster resulted from a freak volcanic event one night, which very suddenly released as much as a cubic kilometre of CO2 gas from a pool of naturally occurring CO2 under the lake in a deep narrow valley. The location of this pool of CO2 is not a place where man can inject or store CO2 and this pool of CO2 was not known about nor monitored until after the occurrence of the natural disaster. For ocean storage, the retention of CO2 would depend on the depth; IPCC estimates 30–85% would be retained after 500 years for depths 1000–3000 m. Mineral storage is not regarded as having any risks of leakage. The IPCC recommends that limits be set to the amount of leakage that can take place. This might rule out deep ocean storage as an option. It should also be noted that at the conditions of the deeper oceans, (about 400 bar or 40 MPa, 280 K) water–CO2(l) mixing is very low (where carbonate formation/acidification is the rate limiting step), but the formation of water-CO2 hydrates is favorable. (a kind of solid water cage that surrounds the CO2).  To further investigate the safety of CO2 sequestration, we can look into Norway's Sleipner gas field, as it is the oldest plant that stores CO2 on an industrial scale. According to an environmental assessment of the gas field which was conducted after ten years of operation, the author affirmed that geosequestration of CO2 was the most definite form of permanent geological storage of CO2. Available geological information shows absence of major tectonic events after the deposition of the Utsira formation [saline reservoir]. This implies that the geological environment is tectonically stable and a site suitable for carbon dioxide storage. The solubility trapping [is] the most permanent and secure form of geological storage. In March 2009, StatoilHydro issued a study showing the slow spread of CO2 in the formation after more than 10 years operation.Phase I of the Weyburn-Midale Carbon Dioxide Project in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada has determined that the likelihood of stored CO2 release is less than one percent in 5,000 years.However, a January 2011 report claimed evidence of leakage in land above that project. This report was strongly refuted by the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project, which issued an eight page analysis of the study, claiming that it showed no evidence of leakage from the reservoir. Detailed geological histories of basins are required and should utilise the multi billion dollar petroleum seismic data sets to decrease the risk associated with fault stability. On injection of CO2 into the earth there is a major pressure front that can break the seal and make faults unstable. The Gippsland Basin in Australia has a 3D-GEO seismic megavolume that consists of 30+ 3D seismic volumes that have been merged. Such datasets can image faults at a resolution of 15 metres over an area 100 km by 100 km. Mid 2010 the first full geological study of the Gippsland Basin will become openfile by 3D-GEO making CCS fault risk workflow available with the associated data that constrains it. In basins around the world such studies are not available and can only be bought at a price tag of greater than a million dollars.
“If they will really follow through on this ridiculous plan, I will definitely move,” says Anne. She is one of the many angry inhabitants of Barendrecht, a Dutch village at some 15 minutes by train to Rotterdam, Europe’s largest harbour. She’s angry because a project is planned to store CO2 in empty gas fields under her hometown of Barendrecht. In the Netherlands the technique is already applied off-shore. Two projects are now initiated under mainland territory, one in the populated area of Barendrecht, the other in an industrial site at Geleen in the southern province of Limburg. Imagine a friendly residential neighbourhood with 7500 houses built in recent years. Housing here is of high quality. Some of these trendy dwellings actually look like smaller copies of lighthouses and stand at waterfronts. Others have backyards lying along ditches and roofs with very exceptionally large eaves. For obvious reasons these carefully designed neighbourhoods are highly popular among Dutch middle-class families. Rotterdam and the small town of Barendrecht are in the most densely populated area of Western Europe. This agglomeration of cities is intersected by busy road and railway infrastructure, including several airports, has a vast area of petrochemical industry, steel factories, power stations, two nuclear plants, major facilities for industrial horticulture and a population of 7,5 million inhabitants on a surface of 8923 km². Since World War II the Netherlands has known a chronic shortage in housing. This shortage made real estate prices rise for decades, but in Barendrecht they are falling. Here downturn in property value is not due to the credit crisis, which by the way did hit Dutch construction industry hard. It is caused by what the government considers a suitable way to reduce carbon dioxide: storage in two empty gas fields. This is how Royal Dutch Shell wants to get rid of CO2 produced at one of its oil refineries in the harbour of Rotterdam. The project is partnered by NAM, another major producer of natural oil and gas in the Netherlands. Shell and NAM want to store about 10 million tons of carbon dioxide at a depth of 1700 and 2700 meter under Barendrecht. It will be transported through a pipeline of 17 km (10,5 mile), which on two locations reaches protected natural reserves at a distance of only 200 meters. The empty gas fields under Barendrecht - in fact layers of porous rock - will be filled one after the other, the first project starting in 2011 and taking three years. The second field would be filled from 2015 and will take 25 years. CCS in Barendrecht is only one of two CCS initiatives in the Netherlands. The other one is planned for Geleen where the French company GTI GDF Suez starts drilling this year to store CO2 under ammonia production plants, owned by the multinational DSM and distanced at 1 km from residential districts. Remarkably, no one has protested in Geleen. The Dutch plans are part of a larger initiative by the European Union to create 12 large CCS projects in different European countries. “Why does it have to happen in populated areas of our hometown?”, citizens in Barendrecht want to know. CCS is advertised by Shell as a clean technology, and this is precisely why many in Barendrecht and the adjacent villages of Ridderkerk and Rhoon are opposed to it: they just don‘t bye it. “All proof of safety with CCS is theoretical,“ says British journalist Oscar Reyes, specialized in environmental issues and a staff member of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Cees van den Akker, professor emeritus of Delft University in hydrology, gave the same warning in February 2009, while pointing to a study published in 2007 by Dutch governmental groups which stated that the technique is not ready to apply in populated areas. Protesters in Barendrecht, who repeatedly took to the streets and posed formal objections, succeeded in gaining the support of a variety of political parties, ranging from the green party GroenLinks to the mildly conservative party of Christian democrats, CDA. Last June, after a year of hesitation, the local government also decided to support the citizens opposition. It’s main objection to CCS: no experience with other CCS projects is fully comparable with the one envisaged for Barendrecht. According to Dutch administrative law, it is up to the local government to establish and modify zoning schemes and approve industrial constructing. This might have posed a complicating factor in the political process for the Secretary of Environment Jacqueline Cramer. Cramer however, together with her colleague Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Secretary of Economic Affairs, has taken precautionary measures. A special settlement was drafted, the so-called ‘Rijkscoördinatieregeling’ (State Coordination Settlement), granting any Secretary the legal power to overrule decisions made by lower administrative levels. This settlement has been approved by parliament on March 1, a story that went totally unreported by Dutch media. A mandatory Environmental Impact Report ( MER) was published on April 22. The MER-committee who drafted the report, consisted largely of representatives with vested interest in the project, like Shell, NAM and others. Cramer however, as is expected, will use the MER to argue that Barendrecht has nothing to fear. The MER claims CCS to be safe, reliable and effective. CO2 in dry form contains only 1% of methane and nitrogen, according to Shell, and risks of a sudden blow-out of concentrated CO2 would be minimal, with the chance of a mortal accident of less than 1/1.000.000. A maximum possible elevation of the soil by 2 cm could occur, writes the committee, but would not lead to noticeable environmental effects. “On a visit to Barendrecht,” says Anne, “one member of the MER committee told us off the record that in other CCS projects monitoring has never really taken place. If you look critical into the information supplied by Shell, you can only conclude one thing. This project is just another way to cash in on the demands by the European Union to reduce CO2 at our cost and that of future generations. It will not bring any fundamental change in the way factories produce. This is a negative incentive, avoiding the essential questions about CO2 production and how to tackle it at it’s roots.” In a first statement on the MER the city council pointed out that the most important problems pertaining to safety and the political process, have not been studied or dealt with by the committee. The council warns against overruling the local government’s decision by use of the State Coordination Settlement, fearing this will lead to even more opposition among its citizens. It will publish a more elaborate comment in June. After the summer the final decision by Dutch government is expected. Shell meanwhile, has already been granted a subsidy of 30 million euros (almost 40 million dollars) by the Dutch government, thus reversing the long advocated principle of ‘the polluter pays’ in it’s opposite of ‘the polluter is paid’. It’s just another thorn in the flesh of the people in Barendrecht. Dutch environmental groups have warned CCS is not only a costly diversion: it is estimated to cost between 60 and 90 euros per ton. A coal plant of 1000 MW produces about 5 million tons of CO2 annually. Catching CO2 before leaving the production facility, reduces effectivity of the production process by 15-30%. Transport and storage in other less populated areas would make the technique even more expensive. In fact the people at Barendrecht refuse to pay for being on top of an empty gas field close enough to Shell’s petrochemical plants. Political and financial stakes are high. Constructing a pipeline to conduct CO2 to Barendrecht is very important for Shell and NAM, as they plan to continue building a network of pipelines for carbon dioxide transport under other parts of the Netherlands, connecting plants and storage fields off the coast of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. A next step would be to link up with capture sites in the northern provinces of the Netherlands and Germany. If Cramer will eventually use the State Coordination Settlement, is nevertheless doubted by many. If anything is typical of Dutch political culture, it is compromise. By tradition the Netherlands has a multi-party system leading to coalition governments, who depend for their longevity on carefully balanced wheeling and dealing between parties. For the people in Barendrecht much will depend on support from national environmental groups and the quality of the backbones of local politicians.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that nine applications for EU funding have been submitted by UK carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in time for this week's deadline. Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Peel Energy have already publicly announced their bid for a share of the NER300 funding – a €4.4bn pot earmarked to help support CCS and renewable energy projects. FURTHER READING Updated: SSE resurrects Peterhead gas carbon capture plans Rising from the ashes – Powerfuel administration not the end for UK CCS Drax has also submitted a bid alongside French company Alstom for a 426MW demonstration project at its Selby site, and Powerfuel Plc, despite going into administration in December, confirmed it had applied for a further tranche of funds. The project at Hatfield, Yorkshire, has already won €180m of European Commission funding, but according to its administrators KPMG, it requires a further £653m pounds to complete the project. The remainder of bidders are as yet unknown, although a DECC spokesman said that a more detailed announcement would be made next week. News agency Reuters reported yesterday that E.ON, RWE npower and EDF Energy are all likely to have tabled bids for a share of the EU funding. E.ON shelved its UK CCS project blaming a lack of support from the government's £1bn CCS competition, the second round of which could provide an additional source of funding for up to three of the projects submitted this week. Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), said the applications were an important step forward for the UK's emerging CCS industry. "The news that DECC has received nine proposals for NER300 funding is very positive and reflects the interest in investing in CCS technology in the UK," he said. "The NER300 funding is vital for the development of CCS and will be important to help the UK become established in this field." The European Commission expects around eight projects to be funded through the sale of 300 million EU Allowance (EUAs) carbon credits from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme's (EU ETS) New Entrants' Reserve, hence NER300. At current market prices, this is expected to raise €4.4bn, but the commission has said the fund could rise to €9bn with contributions from member states and the companies involved.
Originally posted by On the level
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I am ill at the moment and was going to add a section about underwater earthquakes and the risks...
I asked the question regarding this to the Shell executive and he said they the areas they will use will have very moderate quakes at best.
It just does not make any sense as to why this would be supported
Initial sponsors included British Petroleum, the Nuffield Foundation and Royal Dutch Shell. The Rockefeller Foundation was another early benefactor, and the Wolfson Foundation gave the Unit its current building in 1986.
Ged DAVIS has a background in economics and engineering from London and Stanford universities. He joined the Royal Dutch/Shell in 1972 and stayed with that company for 30 years. During his time at Shell, he held positions predominantly in scenario planning, strategy and finance, including Head of Planning (Europe), Head of Energy (Group Planning), Head of Group Investor Relations, Head of Scenario Processes and Applications, Head of the Socio-Politics and Technology Team (Group Planning), and lastly as the company’s Vice-President for Global Business Environment and Head of the Scenarios Team. For the last three years, he has been Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, responsible for global research, scenario projects, and the design of the annual Forum meeting at Davos. During the late 1990s, he served as Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Global Scenarios and as Facilitator and Lead Author of the IPCC’s Emission Scenarios. Currently, he is Co-President of the Global Energy Assessment with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); a Director of Low Carbon Accelerator Limited; a Governor of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa; and a Member of the INDEX Design Awards Jury.