P.2 ~ Offshore industry examines integrity of CO2 pipelines

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Collaborative research

Joint industry projects (JIPs) are playing a major role in the research effort toward CO2 pipelines. DNV GL-led JIPs such as COSHER and CO2PIPETRANS have filled many of the knowledge gaps associated with CO2 pipeline transport.

Results from the CO2PIPETRANS project, which involved 15 JIP partner organizations, focused on the implications of the thermodynamic and corrosive properties in a CO2 pipeline. The project investigated the dense phase CO2 release model validation data, fracture arrest and corrosion on the transportation component of CCUS projects with the aim of updating recommended practice, DNV RP-J202 for the design and operation of CO2 pipelines.

Computer simulations of dispersion were used to assess the potential consequences of an accidental release from a pipeline. Previously, CO2 pipelines have been designed using unverified computer simulations, due to the lack of experimental data. Data made available by CO2 PIPETRANS can be used to validate computer simulations used in CO2 pipeline design, thus optimizing the design process.

The important technical and financial contributions of such collaborative initiatives illustrate the importance the industry has placed on the issue. This wealth of knowledge has led to the initiation of another JIP to undertake experiments releasing CO2 through a water column to understand its dispersion and dissolution. The "CO2 Subsea Releases – Small Scale Experimental Programme" currently involves several major operators including National Grid, Eni, and Petrobras, and more participants are welcome to join the project.

The JIP will explore CO2 subsea releases by generating data from well-defined experiments under different conditions of leak size, pressure, water depths, and direction of the release. Simulation of punctures, as well as ruptures, will be carried out at DNV GL's world-class Spadeadam Test Site. State-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models will be employed to investigate the applicability and accuracy of current modeling techniques against the recorded experimental data. The purpose of this is to identify opportunities for modeling improvement and to provide guidance for modelers undertaking leak consequence assessments.

The DNV GL Recommended Practice "DNV-RP-J202 Design and Operation of CO2 Pipelines" will be updated to reflect the new knowledge and help ensure that the highest safety standards are met when transporting CO2. This RP is one of a number of widely-adopted industry guidelines developed by DNV GL for CO2 handling, such as Recommended Practices for CO2 Capture, CO2 Pipelines and CO2 Geological Storage.

Standards and recommended practices

The subject of CO2 transportation by pipeline is of widespread and increasing importance as many governments and communities worldwide come to terms with the issues of carbon capture and storage for the mitigation of climate change. The transportation aspect is often looked upon as the "missing link" in a concept that is already being widely embraced.

DNV GL has created a series of internationally recognized standards and recommended practices together with the pipeline industry. Since 1976, DNV GL has issued a number of pipeline codes, comprising service specifications, standards, and recommended practices that are currently widely used by the industry.

The key challenge for CCS and the transportation of CO2 are the ongoing international negotiations and debates for a firm and unified agreement on climate change. The likelihood of this happening in the near future remains uncertain, and this in turn has made many industry players reluctant to commit significant budgets to solving many of the outstanding issues. However, this does not mean that innovation and technology development is standing still. R&D work continues to examine solutions that will optimize design, reduce costs, and continue efforts to build pipeline infrastructure.

The authors

1504offco2cJock Brown is the project manager for the CO2PIPETRANS JIP and is a senior consultant in Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage with DNV GL based in Oslo, Norway. He holds a masters of engineering in chemical engineering from Canterbury University in New Zealand.
1504offco2dSigbjørn Røneid is a senior pipeline engineer based in Oslo, Norway, and is leading the fracture arrest work package testing in Norway and Italy, and is responsible for the update of RP-J202. He holds a master of science in naval architecture and marine engineering from NTNU in Norway.
1504offco2eMohammad Ahmad is the project manager for the COSHER and Sub-CO2 JIPs on CO2 pipelines. Ahmad is a thermohydraulics specialist. He holds Phd and master of thermal and mechanical engineering from INPG in France and an MBA from Imperial College London in the UK.
1504offco2fAngunn Engebø is a principal consultant in Safety and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage with DNV GL based in Oslo, Norway. She holds a master of science in chemical engineering from The Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology.

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