What is CCS drilling and how can it benefit my business?
CCS is short for carbon capture and storage, a new technology that has the potential to help combat climate change.
What is CCS?
It’s designed to capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuels and experts believe it could significantly reduce the harm caused by coal and gas-powered industries. Instead of allowing carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere, CCS traps it, transports it, and stores it permanently underground.
One of the measures recommended by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to keep global to 1.5 degrees Celsius but billions of tonnes of CO2 need to be stored each year to make a substantial impact. As the industry grows and more businesses embrace and invest in CCS, the more impact it can have on the environment.
Industry has a large part to play in helping CCS to combat climate change. In fact, applying the practice to the cement and steel industries alone could tackle 14% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. For the energy industry, it could be the secret to maintain industrial production and economic growth while simultaneously reducing emissions.
How does CCS work?
There are three steps in the CCS process:
Carbon dioxide emissions are separated from other gases and captured. These emissions can come from a range of onshore industrial facilities including coal and natural gas power plants, steel mills, cement plants, and refineries.
Once the CO2 has been captured, it is compressed and transported. There are several ways that the emissions can be moved safely including via pipelines, trucks, and ships.
CCS drilling is then used to inject the carbon dioxide into deep underground rock formations, typically between 1000 and 2000 metres below the seabed.
How can CCS drilling benefit my business?
CCS drilling offers an opportunity for businesses to move closer to achieving net-zero and still reach their commercial goals. Companies that choose to act now could get early access to a global industry that is predicted to be worth $90 billion in the next decade.
Businesses that embrace CCS could access clean growth opportunities, create and retain jobs, and contribute towards building a just and sustainable community.
Energy companies that specialise in drilling and oilfield services can pivot to CCS drilling and get in ahead of the crowd. There are currently 18 large-scale CCS facilities operating worldwide with five more under construction.
Existing energy businesses can also benefit by having access to the tools and infrastructure needed for CCS drilling. Moving into CCS could allow these industries – and the jobs they create – to continue, even as the world becomes more sustainable. CCS practitioners favour the repurposing of existing infrastructure as it can reduce costs when compared to the price of constructing new methods of transportation and storage. The Acorn project in Scotland, for example, has re-used existing oil and gas infrastructure, saving £548m when compared to the cost of building a new pipeline.
Experts predict that hydrogen will play an important role in the future of energy. Hydrogen can combust with oxygen to produce heat and, when it reacts in a fuel cell, creates emissions-free electricity that can be used to power industrial processes. In fact, the Hydrogen Council estimates that the hydrogen economy could account for 18% of the total energy demand in 2050 with potential annual sales of $2.5 trillion worldwide or 820 billion EURO in Europe alone. CCS drilling can increase blue hydrogen production to help meet the current and future demand from the transport and construction industries.
Government grants and investment
CCS drilling may also appeal to your business’ shareholders and other stakeholders. If CCS is made eligible for financing under institutional ESG standards, then it can satisfy the demands of both potential and existing investors who are looking for more sustainable opportunities. CCS may also come under the consideration of governments looking to achieve ambitious climate goals leading to grants and other incentives becoming available. The importance of converting high emissions industries to low emissions means that CCS will play an important role in reducing the economic and social upheaval that might otherwise be caused by the switch to sustainability.