Photo: Credits to Wintershall Dea/Dominik Obertreis

Wintershall Dea exploring conversion of gas pipelines for CO2 transport

German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea and the OTH Regensburg University of Applied Sciences are working to explore how existing natural gas pipelines in the southern North Sea can be used for future CO2 transport.

So far, the results suggest that the offshore pipelines could be safely and efficiently repurposed for the transport of liquid CO2, and as the study progresses, technical feasibility will be tested, and certification will take place.

“We are optimistic about the further investigations. Our calculations already show that existing offshore pipelines could be well suited for transporting liquid CO2,” said Klaus Langemann, senior vice president of Carbon Management and Hydrogen at Wintershall Dea.

“Wintershall Dea is investing in CCS because we are convinced that it is a safe and affordable technology for decarbonisation. We have the technological know-how and the depleted offshore reservoirs required for CCS, as well as access to the pipeline network for transport.”

Wintershall Dea said it has developed, together with industry and research partners, innovative calculation models that enable completely new insights in this technological field. The next step is demonstrating the reliability of the evaluation process and proving the feasibility experimentally.

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Wintershall Noordzee, a joint venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom EP International, operates 1,200 kilometers of pipelines in the southern North Sea, with parts of this network potentially useful for CO2 transport and numerous depleted reservoirs potentially suitable for storing CO2.

At the end of 2020, Wintershall Dea set itself climate targets, which include the reduction of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in all own-operated and non-own-operated exploration and production activities by 2030. Beyond 2030, the company intends to meaningfully reduce their net carbon intensity, including Scope 3 emissions. Here, CCS and hydrogen are anticipated to be key technologies.