Lacq Basin CCS Pilot Project
Total claims the Lacq project is unique because oxycombustion has never been tried on this scale, it is the first storage of CO2 in a depleted onshore field in Europe, and it involves the whole CCS chain.
In January 2010, Total launched this CCS chain demonstration project at its gas processing plant at Lacq in south-west France. The pilot was expected to run for 24 months, with the results helping to develop CCS technologies for oil, gas and coal-fired power stations as well as other industrial facilities, such as steel plants, cement plants and refineries.
The €60 million (US$83.5m) project has been using oxyfuel combustion technology developed by Air Liquide, and should have captured around 120,000 tonnes of CO2 over the two years. Alstom supplied the retrofit of a 30MW conventional boiler for oxy-firing combustion for the pilot plant.
The captured gas is transported by pipeline and injected into a depleted natural gas reservoir 4,500 metres below ground at Rousse, 27 kilometres from Lacq. Total has particular interest in the use of the oxyfuel combustion process with regard to extra-heavy oils.
Monitoring of CO2 storage, which will continue for three years after the end of the injection period, is expected to help develop methods and equipment for demonstrating the reliability of long-term CO2 storage at a larger scale. The pilot, originally announced by Total in 2007, will also contribute to reaching the goal of emissions-free power generation defined by the European Technology Platform – a research-facilitating agency of the European Commission - in which Total is a partner.
Total has invested almost €60 million in the project, which is being carried out in partnership with Air Liquide and in cooperation with the French Petroleum Institute, the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research and others.
Preliminary study work was carried out in 2006 followed by an engineering study in 2007. The pilot began operating in January 2010 and will continue for two years, after which CO2 storage will be monitored for a period of three years.
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The Rousse gas field was chosen as a suitable CO2 storage site following studies in 2006 of depleted gas fields operated by Total in the region. Its geological structure is well known and is generally considered suitable for safe, long-term storage of CO2 from the Lacq pilot. The reservoir is not directly connected to any aquifer and only one well has been drilled in it, which has led to the assumption that it should ensure reliable long-term storage.