1.1 The Drivers for CCS in Romania

Key drivers for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project in Romania include:

  • the need to maintain coal as an energy source to support national energy security;
  • the fact the energy sector accounts for a large portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Romania (66.44% in 2009 (ANPM, 2011)); and
  • Romania being identified at a preliminarily level as having high carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential.

1.1.1 Romania’s Energy Portfolio

As presented in Figure 1-1, Romania meets its energy demand through a wide range of fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable power generation options.

Figure 1-1 The structure of the power produced in Romania in 2011

Source: ANRE Annual Report, 2011

Continued operation of existing coal-fired power plants is important to Romania’s energy security, given coal is currently its primary energy source.

1.1.2 Romania’s CO2 Emissions Portfolio

In 2009, 66.44% of Romania’s total GHG emissions were from the energy sector (ANPM, 2011). The nation’s emissions by sector are shown in Figure 1-2 below.

Figure 1-2 Sectoral GHG emissions in 2009

Source: ANPM, 2011

The annual GHG emissions for 1989-2009 are shown in Figure 1-3. Key features include:

  • the period 1989-2009 being characterised by a process of transition to a market economy, including economic restructure;
  • the first nuclear reactor becoming operational at the Cernavoda power plant in 1996;
  • an increase in emissions from 1999 due to revitilisation of the economy; and
  • a significant decrease in emissions in 2009 (from 2008) due to the economic crisis.

Figure 1-3 Total GHG emissions, 1989 – 2009, in CO2 equivalent

Source: (ANPM, 2011)

1.1.3 CO2 Storage Potential in Romania

The CO2 storage potential in Romania has been identified as relatively high. The total estimated storage capacity for Romania is 18.6 Gt in deep saline aquifers and 4.0 Gt in depleted hydrocarbon fields (source: EU GeoCapacity project, WP2 Report – Storage capacity).

The estimate of the storage capacity in deep saline aquifers has been based on the identification and calculation of CO2 storage potential of regional Romanian deep aquifers. The CO2 storage capacity assessment in depleted hydrocarbon fields is based on the notion that most of the remaining hydrocarbons will be extracted from the current fields under exploitation in 20-30 years, and that the resulting depleted fields will be available for CO2 storage. The potential for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and enhanced gas recovery (EGR) were also taken into consideration when assessing the CO2 storage capacity.

Romania has a long history of hydrocarbon production and was an early leader in the application of geophysical methods for exploration and field development. The first oil production was officially recorded in Romania in 1857 at a rate of 225 tpa. In 1900, Romania was the third largest oil producer in the world with 300,000 tpa.

Romania also has a long history in natural gas storage, linking back to the first attempts to enhance the production of gas in Sibiu County in 1961 through injection of natural gas. To this day, the capacity for underground storage of natural gas has been continuously developed by the establishment of new gas deposits. As at 2010, there were six operational deposits, with a total capacity of 2,760 million m3. This could be a useful analogue for potential CO2 storage.