Carbon Sequestration and Storage: Developing a Transportation Infrastructure

This study focuses on the pipeline infrastructure requirements for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) in connection with compliance with mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The major conclusion of the study is that while CCS technologies are relatively well defined, there remain technological challenges in the carbon capture and sequestration phases, and less so in transportation. Carbon capture is the most significant cost in the CCS process. The study forecasts that the amount of pipeline that will be needed to transport CO2 will be between 15,000 miles and 66,000 miles by 2030, depending on how much CO2 must be sequestered and the degree to which enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is involved. The upper end of the forecast range is of the same order of magnitude as the miles of existing U.S. crude oil pipelines and products pipelines.

While there are no significant barriers to building the forecasted pipeline mileage, the major challenges to implementing CCS are in public policy and regulation. Because a CCS industry can evolve in several ways, public policy decisions must address key questions about industry structure, government support of early development, regulatory models, and operating rules. Such issues must be resolved before necessary investments in a CCS pipeline system can be made.  

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) consists of the separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial and power plant sources, transport to a storage location and long-term isolation from the atmosphere. The principal technical, economic and regulatory challenges of CCS are significant for the capture and storage phase of the process and considerable research into these areas is ongoing. By contrast little analytical work has focused on the pipeline system for transporting CO2 from capture sites to storage sites. The INGAA Foundation Inc. (Foundation) commissioned this study to provide some information and insights on the size, configuration, costs, timing, commercial structure, and regulation of U.S. and Canadian pipeline systems to transport CO2