Pipeline Based Transportation

Pipelines are routinely used to carry large volumes of natural gas, oil, condensate and water over distances of thousands of kilometers, both on land and in the sea.  

Pipelines are laid in deserts, mountain ranges, heavily-populated areas, farmland and the open range, in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, and in seas and oceans up to 2200 m deep.
 
Carbon dioxide pipelines are not new: they now extend over more than 2500 km in the western USA, where they carry 50 Mt CO2 per year from natural sources to enhanced oil recovery projects in west Texas and elsewhere. Pipeline  transport  of  carbon  dioxide  through  populated  areas requires  attention  be  paid  to  design  factors,  to  overpressure protection, and to leak detection.

The carbon dioxide stream ought preferably to be dry and free of hydrogen sulphide, because corrosion is then minimal. However, it would be possible to design a corrosion-resistant pipeline  that  would  operate  safely  with  a  gas  that contained  water,  hydrogen  sulphide  and  other  contaminants. In pipeline transportation, the volume is reduced by transporting at a high pressure: this is routinely done in gas pipelines, where operating pressures are between 10 and 80 MPa.

 A transportation  infrastructure  that  carries  carbon  dioxide in large enough quantities to make a significant impact to  climate  change  mitigation  will  require  a  large  network  of pipelines. The   most   economical   carbon   dioxide   capture   systems appear to favour CO2  capture, first from pure stream sources such as hydrogen reformers and chemical plants, and then from centralized power and synfuel plants. There is no indication that the problems for carbon dioxide pipelines are any more challenging than those set by hydrocarbon pipelines in similar areas, or that they cannot be resolved.

Pipeline Based Transportation


Pipelines are routinely used to carry large volumes of natural gas, oil, condensate and water over distances of thousands of kilometers, both on land and in the sea.

Pipelines are laid in deserts, mountain ranges, heavily-populated areas, farmland and the open range, in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, and in seas and oceans up to 2200 m deep. Carbon dioxide pipelines are not new: they now extend over more than 2500 km in the western USA, where they carry 50 Mt CO2 per year from natural sources to enhanced oil recovery projects in west Texas and elsewhere.

Pipeline  transport  of  carbon  dioxide  through  populated  areas requires  attention  be  paid  to  design  factors,  to  overpressure protection, and to leak detection. The carbon dioxide stream ought preferably to be dry and free of hydrogen sulphide, because corrosion is then minimal. However, it would be possible to design a corrosion-resistant pipeline  that  would  operate  safely  with  a  gas  that contained  water,  hydrogen  sulphide  and  other  contaminants. In pipeline transportation, the volume is reduced by transporting at a high pressure: this is routinely done in gas pipelines, where operating pressures are between 10 and 80 MPa.
 
A transportation  infrastructure  that  carries  carbon  dioxide in large enough quantities to make a significant impact to  climate  change  mitigation  will  require  a  large  network  of pipelines. The   most   economical   carbon   dioxide   capture   systems appear to favour CO2  capture, first from pure stream sources such as hydrogen reformers and chemical plants, and then from centralized power and synfuel plants. There is no indication that the problems for carbon dioxide pipelines are any more challenging than those set by hydrocarbon pipelines in similar areas, or that they cannot be resolved.
 
 Pipeline Projects in USA

 Most of the projects listed below are described in greater detail in a report by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (2002). While there are CO2 pipelines outside the USA, the Permian Basin contains over 90% of the active CO2 floods in the world (O&GJ, April 15, 2002, EOR Survey). Since then, well over 1600 km of new CO2 pipelines has been built to service enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in west Texas and nearby states.

Existing long-distance CO2 pipelines (Gale and Davison, 2002) and CO2 pipelines in North America (Courtesy of Oil and Gas Journal) have been highlighted below:





Canyon Reef


The first large CO2 pipeline in the USA was the Canyon Reef Carriers, built in 1970 by the SACROC Unit in Scurry County, Texas. Its 352 km moved 12,000 tonnes of anthropogenically produced CO2 daily (4.4 Mt yr-1) from Shell Oil Company gas processing plants in the Texas Val Verde basin.

Bravo Dome Pipeline

Oxy Permian constructed this 508 mm (20-inch) line connecting the Bravo Dome CO2   field with other major pipelines. It is capable of carrying 7.3 MtCO2 yr-1 and is operated by Kinder Morgan.

Cortez Pipeline
 
Built in 1982 to supply CO2  from the McElmo Dome in S.E. Colorado,  the  762  mm  (30-inch),  803  km  pipeline  carries approximately 20 Mt CO2  yr-1  to the CO2  hub at Denver City,Texas. The line starts near Cortez, Colorado, and crosses the Rocky Mountains, where it interconnects with other CO2 lines. In the present context, recall that one 1000 MW coal-fired power station produces about 7 Mt CO2 per year , and so one Cortez pipeline could handle the emissions of three of those stations.

The  Cortez  Pipeline  passes  through  two  built-up  areas,Placitas,  New  Mexico  (30  km  north  of  Albuquerque,  New Mexico)  and  Edgewood/Moriarty,  New  Mexico  (40  km  east of Albuquerque). The line is buried at least 1 m deep and is marked within its right of way. Near houses and built-up areas it is marked more frequently to ensure the residents are aware of the pipeline locations. The entire pipeline is patrolled by air every two weeks, and in built-up areas is frequently patrolled by employees in company vehicles. The public education program includes the mailing of a brochure describing CO2, signs of a leak and where to report a suspected leak, together with information about the operator and the “one-call” centre.Sheep Mountain Pipeline
 
BP Oil constructed this 610 mm (24-inch) 772 km line capable of carrying 9.2 MtCO2/yr   from another naturally occurring source in southeast Colorado. It connects to the Bravo Dome line and into the other major carriers at Denver City and now is operated by Kinder Morgan.
 
Weyburn Pipeline
 
This 330 km, (305-356 mm diameter) system carries more than 5000  tons per day   (1.8  Mt/yr )  of  CO2   from  the  Great  Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, North Dakota to the Weyburn EOR project in Saskatchewan. The composition of the gas carried by the pipeline is typically CO2 96%, H2S 0.9%, CH4  0.7%, C2+ hydrocarbons 2.3%, CO 0.1%, N2  less than 300 ppm, O2  less than 50 ppm and H2O  less than 20 ppm (UK  Department of Trade and Industry, 2002). The delivery pressure at Weyburn is 15.2 MPa. There are no intermediate compressor stations. The amount allocated to build the pipeline was 110 US $ million (0.33 x 106 US$ km-1) in 1997.
 
Sheep Mountain Pipeline
 
BP Oil constructed this 610 mm (24-inch) 772 km line capable of carrying 9.2 MtCO2/yr   from another naturally occurring source in southeast Colorado. It connects to the Bravo Dome line and into the other major carriers at Denver City and now is operated by Kinder Morgan.
 
 

 


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