9.4 Comparisons of CCS to LNG

  • CCS may be integrated with LNG to varying extent and with varying cost and difficulty for CO2 captured from both process gas stream and flue gas
  • Some capture technology has not yet been subject to years of competitive market to obtain "natural selection" of technology and providers and to obtain technology performance improvement
  • Candidate capture technologies for pressurized reducing streams (pre-combustion) are mature and highly portable from other industries while technologies for low pressure oxidizing streams (post-combustion) are still in development
  • Some candidate capture technologies may be implemented on to CO2 source with relatively little integration requirement while others require extensive adaptation of critical equipment and integration into overall system
  • Capture technology energy penalty varies significantly ranging between 10 to 40% of source process energy output. LNG energy penalty is less than 10% of incoming natural gas feed.
  • Business case for CCS is not yet established. By analogy, CCS may be considered to be at equivalent LNG development stage as the 50's / 60's with first export concept implementation, albeit that the associated natural gas pipeline industry was already well established at that time. There are some specific examples from the CCS value chain that have a market such as capture from chemicals production synthesis gas and transport and injection for enhanced oil recovery.
  • While some marine movement of CO2 could be applicable for regions that lack suitable storage reservoirs, most CO2 movement will be by pipeline and so gas pipeline industry development may provide better analogy than LNG, which is based on shipping.
  • Marine tankers for CO2 may be more difficult to achieve large scale like LNG due to CO2 storage above the triple point (> 5 bar) to maintain liquid phase compared to atmospheric pressure for LNG. Density of liquid CO2 is twice that of LNG.
  • CCS Value Chain may have more stakeholders and require more complex commercial settings for all participants than early LNG development, which was largely one-to-one long term contracts
  • Definition, access and development of CCS reservoirs seems to correspond to early gas exploration, such as may be demonstrated by recent developments of unconventional gas sources
  • For many early projects, all components of the CCS Value Chain (capture, transport, storage) need to be developed at the same time by the project proponent.
  • LNG has facilitated advancement in oil and gas industry development by handling gas from oil production and allowing monetising of stranded reserves (no other accessible market, hence economic enabler) whereas CCS integration seems to impose varying extent of penalty on source industries
  • CCS development objectives seem to aim for very rapid transition of capacity from small semi-commercial demonstration to full scale capture, whereas LNG train capacity and industry production ramp up occurred more gradually as a consequence of technology and energy market competition, i.e., LNG is market driven while CCS is policy driven
  • LNG market growth was not at uniform rate over time and has declined and accelerated with competing energy prices, whereas CCS aims for rapid and consistent growth once commercialised in order to achieve GHG emissions reductions
  • Project execution strategies from LNG have many applicable lessons (as do many other complex process industries), including economies of scale, shared infrastructure, learning curve cost reduction, resource constraint cost escalation, site selection, regulatory approvals, and community stakeholder engagement