Amid the CCUS technological evolution, reliable pipeline design, casing and tubing design, and material selection are important enablers for the permanent, safe storage of significant volumes of CO2. Tenaris technical experts Paolo Novelli, Energy Transition OCTG Project Director, and Stefano Crippa, Line Pipe Product Manager, discuss the CCUS segment and how Tenaris, with decades of experience in serving the oil and gas industry, can lend its expertise in metallurgy and product technologies to support low carbon solutions.
How is the Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage market segment developing amid a greater focus on low carbon energy?
Paolo Novelli: The energy industry has been successfully developing several carbon storage projects both with the target of increasing oil recovery or avoiding CO2 emissions associated with hydrocarbon production. As an example, we can mention projects such as Equinor's Snøhvit in Europe and Chevron's Gorgon project in Western Australia. Nowadays the energy transition is calling for an increased effort leading to an important number of projects in the pipeline and to additional challenges coming from the different CO2 sources and injection technologies.
What are the main challenges and characteristics of CCUS developments?
Paolo Novelli: In my opinion, there are the two key aspects to overcome in order to see a strong ramp up of CCUS in the near future. The scale of CCUS projects has to be massive in order to have a significant impact and this requires very large investments. The energy industry is ready and experienced to cope with these difficulties, however without the proper support by governments to obtain initial funding, the feasibility of carrying out these projects may be impacted. And, while the market is creating a methodology to assign a cost for each ton of CO2 stored, there are still some uncertainties on the methodology and on the long-term outlook, potentially challenging the economics of CCUS projects.
Stefano Crippa: CO2 by nature can create a very aggressive corrosive environment. This problem has been often solved by managing the fluid and by treating it properly or maintaining it in the specific conditions to avoid the presence of corrosion. This kind of treatment won’t always be possible in the upcoming CCUS operations for two reasons: gases coming from industrial operations, richer with impurities, will be captured and some characteristics related to the injection in depleted fields may cause some criticalities associated with very low temperatures. CO2 is a gas that, when decompressed, reaches very low temperatures, as low as -70 °C, hence line pipes as well as casing and tubing and their premium connections should provide reliability at such low temperatures.
How is Tenaris applying solutions and experiences taken from segments like OCTG or line pipe, to CCUS to address major technical issues?
Paolo Novelli: Many solutions developed for oil and gas developments will be directly applicable to CCUS. Some of the most effective technical solutions that we developed in the past have been driven by customers’ requests in highly complex projects and with ambitious objectives. Taking again Snøhvit project as an example, the customer needed a solution to avoid the environmental footprint linked to the use of dope on offshore rigs. Following the customer request, Tenaris developed its Dopeless® technology which is now used worldwide and appreciated by the main end users. Thanks to our experience in developing innovative solutions and our product development structure, I’m confident we have the capabilities to meet the stringent requests needed to face the CCUS challenges that are coming ahead.
How is the market moving in terms of research, product development, and testing?
Stefano Crippa: We are monitoring the developments, participating in major European working groups, such as the CCUS Institute, and contributing by sharing our own testing results and know how. In parallel, we are discussing directly with users and EPCs to get a better understanding of the context. Today, we can say that seamless pipes are the optimal choice in terms of performance and in safety considering the superior toughness and corrosion resistance.
To read more about Tenaris solutions for low carbon energy projects, click here.