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Webinar: Carbon Capture and Storage

Published 27.7.2022

Hernán Milberg, Corporate Manager of Energy Transition of Techint E&C joined Tecpetrol Reservoir Geologist Josefina d'Hiriart at the latest IAPG seminar

A special seminar was hosted jointly on July 5 by the Argentine Oil and Gas Institute’s Production and Reserves Development Committee (IAPG, in Spanish) and the Energy Committee of the Technical Department from the Argentine Engineers’ Center. Techint E&C’s Energy Transition Manager Hernan Milberg gave a talk about the carbon capture process (CCS) and the latest technologies in vogue, while Josephine d'Hiriart from Tecpetrol presented an in-depth look into the different uses of captured CO2 (CCU).

Hernán explained that the process of reducing emissions requires an exhaustive analysis of different alternatives, which range from stopping the use of coal and developing renewable energy sources, to options for carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). “The estimate is that we could achieve reductions of between 5 and 7 billion tons of CO2 thanks to carbon capture initiatives.”

Complex dedicated or incidental storage: what’s the direction

It’s estimated that 40 million tons of CO2 are currently being captured around the world, a thousand times less than what is emitted per year. The CO2 is stored in what is known as ‘complex storage’ which can have different configurations, such as dedicated storage, whose objective is merely to store CO2 so as to reduce emissions, and incidental storage, whose purpose is the tertiary recovery of oil. Josefina emphasized that, “this is the cheapest technology, because it’s paid for by the sale of hydrocarbons, and it’s the one most in use at the moment at 80% of the carbon storage projects around the world.”

However, she also stressed that there are new trends on the horizon, given increasing decarbonization requirements at global level, and specific questions are being asked about the effectiveness of storing CO2 to feed hydrocarbons production. The main problem is the bottleneck in the process to obtain injection permits. “There are a number of complex and demanding steps that must be followed to guarantee that the CO2 does not leak at any stage throughout the process, requiring it to be monitored before, during and after.”

Learning by doing, with collaborative work and incentives

Both experts agree when it comes to pointing out that the key to the carbon capture and storage business lies in collaborative work between industries, technological innovation and economic incentives.

“I think there are different aspects that we must cover: on the hand, we have technological innovation: every day, we receive information about new technologies arriving on the scene, and each one has the potential to radically change the industry. We also need collaborative work, because we must be able to share knowledge throughout the industry to ensure that we all move towards decarbonization together. Finally, we must pluck up the courage to go ahead and try things out! Remember that barely a few years ago, renewable energy seemed to be a very complex subject and today, it’s being developed in all kinds of areas,” said Hernán.

For her part, Josefina stressed that, “it’s essential to ensure that there is a regulatory framework supported by economic incentives to promote project development. We can see that this is what is working in other parts of the world.”

“We are still in time, we’re making the right moves and have the resources. We know it’s essential to be prepared and take advantage of all the opportunities that arise.”

To see the full webinar, click here.

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