Total publishes Lacq CCS Pilot report

Jacques Monne

Total publishes Lacq CCS Pilot report

The Lacq Pilot project is a fully integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) project operated by Total in the Lacq region of south-eastern France. From 2009 to 2013 the project captured more than 51 thousand tonnes (kt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) through oxyfuel combustion at a gas-fired power station, transported it by pipeline and injected it safely into the nearby Rousse geological reservoir. Total has published a new report detailing the Lacq pilot through the Global CCS Institute. In this Insight, Jacques Monne, R&D manager in Exploration and Production at Total, introduces the report and gives an overview of the objectives of the Lacq project.

Total is pleased to present “Carbon Capture and Storage: The Lacq Pilot”, which sets out our experiences in developing and operating a pilot study in capture and geological storage of CO2 which began in 2007 on the Lacq and Rousse industrial sites.

This large-scale project was an opportunity for the Total group to test a complete CO2 capture, transport and storage chain, starting with the conversion of an air boiler with a 30 thermal megawatt (MWth) output, into an oxy-combustion boiler.

The pilot, an unmatched first in Europe, fulfilled all its technical and theoretical objectives.

Total set itself ambitious goals as part of our commitment to curbing greenhouse gas emissions:

  • To demonstrate the technical feasibility and reliability of an integrated chain comprising CO2 capture, transportation and injection into a depleted gas reservoir and steam production
  • To acquire operating experience and data to upscale the oxy-combustion technology from pilot (30 MWth) to industrial scale (200 MWth) while down-scaling the capture cost of oxy-combustion compared to classical post capture technologies
  • To develop and apply geological storage qualification methodologies, monitoring methodologies and technologies on site to serve in future onshore storage monitoring programs that will be larger in scale, longer in term and economically and technically viable (microseismic monitoring, environmental monitoring)
  • To promote CCS knowledge sharing among the public, companies, associations and the academic community through the communication of scientific results, project achievements and lessons learnt.

This pioneering experiment promoted CO2 capture and storage as an innovative solution, complementary to the reduction of emissions at source (managing energy consumption, development of non-carbon energies).

The report presents the results of seven years’ field experimentation by Total and its many partners working on greenhouse-gas abatement solutions. It is a collegiate work, the corollary and symbol of the culture of innovation the Group nurtures and advocates. It is published at Total’s initiative in a true spirit of open data, to make all the data collected in the course of the pilot available to the scientific community.

Schematic drawing of Lacq CO2 Pilot monitoring system. Picture courtesy of Total

The above-mentioned objectives are discussed through the different chapters of this report, which has been written to give the reader an overview of this industrial adventure in accordance with the scientific information sharing, and open and transparent dialogue policies promoted by Total during the whole life of this pilot project. It describes the period from the decision being taken to proceed with the project to the end of CO2 injection. The wider deployment of CCS technology by 2020-2030 can benefit from the input that this type of project offers.

With its carbon footprint in mind, Total also offers you the possibility of reading the work online, which you can access via this web page.

We would like to thank in particular all the authors, experts, specialists and industrial and scientific partners who have made this publication possible.

We wish you an interesting read, and we hope this report provides valuable insights for those involved in developing CCS in the future.