Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Philip Ringrose is a specialist in CO2 storage and reservoir geoscience at the Equinor Research Centre, Trondheim, Norway. He is also Adjunct Professor in CO2 Storage at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and a leader in the Centre for Geophysical Forecasting based at NTNU. He has published widely on reservoir geoscience and flow in rock media and has published textbooks on ‘Reservoir Model Design’ and ‘How to Store CO2 underground.’
Scaling up saline aquifer storage in support of hydrogen energy supply systems Philip Ringrose, Equinor & NTNU
Significant scale-up in CCS deployment is needed to meet the stated global ambitions for emissions reduction in the next three decades. CCS is projected to provide 10–15% of total cumulative emissions reductions through 2050, requiring annual storage rates in 2050 in the range of 6,000–7,000 Mtpa). This CCS development will likely support a blend of industrial decarbonisation, fossil fuel decarbonisation and negative emissions technology. Use of hydrogen for power generation, industry and transport is likely to form a significant part of future energy systems, with hydrogen sourced from both methane reforming with CCS and from water via electrolysis using renewable power sources.
In developing a strategy to meet these CO2 storage goals, it is useful to review the basin-scale geological framework for saline aquifer storage. In an analysis of storage on offshore continental margins, Ringrose & Meckel (2019) suggest that approximately 12,000 CO2 injection wells will be needed globally by 2050 to achieve these goals. These wells will likely be deployed in regional clusters or energy hubs, where each cluster would require of order 10-100 wells by 2030 and 100-1000 wells by 2040. This projected CO2 injection-well deployment rate is significantly smaller than historic petroleum industry drill rates, and geological storage capacity does not appear to be a significant limiting factor. The main challenges are related to financing and business models. However, significant cost savings can be achieved by using and adapting hydrocarbon-legacy infrastructure and the associated knowledge base to develop new low/zero-emissions energy systems. Cyclic storage of hydrogen is a different kind of challenge, since even though the technically proven, the collocation and integration of hydrogen storage with CCS and hydrogen energy systems may be difficult.