Carbon capture and storage
They can prevent carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere; instead, the gas is returned to geological formations thousands of metres below the earth's surface.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be used at power stations and hydrogen or oil and gas production facilities. However, before it can be put into wider use, two key issues must be resolved: costs must be commercially viable and public acceptance must be gained.
The Carbon Capture Project
BP leads on the $25m Carbon Capture Project (CCP) – a major public-private collaboration involving energy companies and governments. Over the past six years, the CCP has funded commercial and academic research into CCS – and principally, the ways in which it can be made more secure and cost effective.
Data published by the CCP in 2004 shows how some technologies could reduce the costs of capture by up to 60% at gas-fired power stations, and 48% at refineries. Over the next 4 years, the CCP plans to explore ways to drive costs down further and develop standards for application worldwide.
CCS in Algeria
In 2004 we launched the CO2 capture and storage project at the In Salah gas field, in the Algeria desert. In Salah is a joint venture between Sonatrach, the Algeria national energy company, BP and Statoil. Approximately 10% of the gas in the reservoir is made up of CO2. Rather than venting the CO2, which is the established practice on other projects of this type, the project is compressing it and injecting it in wells 1,800 metres deep into a lower level of the gas reservoir where the reservoir is filled with water. Around one million tonnes of CO2 will be injected into the reservoir every year, which reduces GHGs by the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.
CCS in Scotland
In 2005 we declared our intention to start detailed engineering work for the first industrial-scale project to generate clean electricity from existing fossil fuels. This project, located at the Peterhead power station in Scotland, is being carried out with partners Shell, ConocoPhillips and Scottish and Southern Energy. It uses hydrogen manufactured from North Sea natural gas to create a decarbonized fuel, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 90%. In addition, it is estimated that some 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 will be permanently sequestrated.
The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2005 sustainability reporting.