March 18, 2024 | Susan Napier-Sewell

New from IOGP: Subsea CCS Guidelines


Report 665 is IOGP’s first subsea CCS guidance.

The new IOGP (International Association of Gas & Oil Producers) subsea report provides guidance to designers and developers of carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems with all, or portions, of the system located underwater.

Subsea CCS projects are new and no standards or clear regulations for their design exist.

The report is intended to help designers evaluate key decisions and mitigate risks unique to a subsea CCS system. Additionally, the document refers to other documents that will aid in specification and design of a subsea CCS system. Unique aspects of subsea CCS systems are highlighted and recommendations or options to address design decisions are offered. 

“The primary intent is to provide guidance specific to subsea CCS design,” says David Saul (bp), co-chair of IOGP’s Subsea CCS Expert Group. “While there are many similarities to subsea production systems there are also key differences and risks which this guidance report aims to make clear.”

As industries seek to reduce carbon emissions, subsea system operators and system suppliers are planning projects that involve carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in subsurface reservoirs, accessible only offshore. IOGP recognizes that system design and specific subsea equipment used for CO2 injection projects will have both similarities and key differences from subsea oil and gas production and injection systems.

Currently, there is no industry guidance on subsea carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems or equipment design considerations or requirements. And regulatory requirements are still forming in many regions where projects are being considered. This document aims to provide design guidance where there is no established standard for subsea CO2 injection and storage systems.

“It provides a starting point for operators and suppliers looking to get involved with subsea CCS for the first time. For suppliers considering developing subsea CCS technology, the guide suggests areas where innovation gaps exist. It serves as a ‘101’ for anyone new to subsea CCS while also acting as a checklist for more experienced practitioners,” says David.

“It fills the void where there was no clear guidance for subsea CCS system and equipment design,” adds co-chair Ryan Gola (ExxonMobil).

“Additionally, the work on this document facilitated design discussions between Operators and Suppliers that focused on sound design principles and promoted common design approaches to deliver safe, reliable, and cost-effective systems and equipment.  The hope is that by having many of these discussions at this early stage in the industry, the subsea CCS industry will progress down the standardization path more quickly than otherwise possible, and ultimately enable savings to make subsea CCS projects viable to support global emissions reduction targets.”

The report is aimed at users who some knowledge of the subsea oil and gas industry’s practices and design requirements. It is written so that users can apply this existing knowledge to the design of CO2 injection systems, using common terms and references from the oil and gas industry. Design guidance for subsea CO2 injection systems is necessary because it is believed that CCS-specific designs will be needed to provide the most value to the industry and that simply adopting existing equipment requirements will not provide the most efficient design, as some oil and gas-specific requirements either exceed or are different from what is needed for CCS applications.

“Getting the report developed and published within 9 months is a great achievement,” says Diana Khatun, Senior Manager ‑ Security, Subsea & Wells Expert Committee “Our heartfelt thanks to the Expert Group Chairs and Members for their hard work and efforts.”

Source content: IOGP Report 665, “IOGP publishes its first subsea CCS guidance.”

Current Events, Environmental, Implementation, Operational Excellence
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