Transporting and injecting CO2 introduces new challenges from specific technical constraints setting new requirements for safe and efficient pipeline operations. Flow simulation software is essential in both the design/planning and operational phases to mitigate flow assurance issues of transporting CO2 in pipelines and the safe injection into reservoirs for storage.
Typical flow assurance issues are slugging and water hammers. These issues can cause equipment integrity problems and operational disruptions. Flow simulators can provide virtual flow metering solutions for real-time monitoring of fluid volume flow in pipelines and injection wells, crucial for calculating liquid quantities with high accuracy and for monitoring reservoir responses. To comply with EU’s regulatory requirements for CO2 storage site operators are required to monitor and report the quantity of CO2 injected from wells into the reservoir.
A digital twin of the CO2 transport pipeline and injection well system can be an essential tool for operators. It can be used for planning operations, training operators, providing soft sensing, and functioning as a backup for failing sensors for redundancy. Sensors are crucial to ensuring operations within the planned phase envelope of fluids involved, avoiding unwanted operational conditions with potentially severe consequences.
One of the significant challenges for flow simulators is accounting for impurities in CO2 from various capture sources. These impurities cause the transported fluid to behave differently, making it necessary for simulators to adjust for the differences.
Example of CO2 transportation issues to be addressed by the Turbulent Flux solution:
The Turbulent Flux software:
The Turbulent Flux software FLUX Applied offers a hybrid solution combining a transient multiphase flow simulator with data analytics for hydrocarbon flow, providing virtual flow metering and flow assurance solutions. This software is the foundation for addressing CO2 flow in pipelines and wells, and it’s used for design, training, and real-time operations. The company is actively working with the industry to develop the simulator further, making it capable of handling different impurities that are representative of future CO2 pipeline transmission solutions.