28.10.2021 IOGP

Re-Stream – Study on the reuse of oil and gas infrastructure for hydrogen and CCS in Europe

The Re-Stream cross-industry study provides fact-based elements on the reuse of oil and gas infrastructure by identifying and assessing relevant infrastructure, and defining which technical adaptations and investments would be required to unlock its potential for re-use for both CO2 and hydrogen.

The study confirms the significant potential for reuse of oil and gas infrastructure in Europe for hydrogen and carbon dioxide transport: reusing existing oil and gas infrastructure can lead to more cost-efficient deployment of CCS and hydrogen, reducing the costs of the energy transition.

Key findings

  • In Europe existing oil and gas infrastructure/pipelines are a strong asset on the pathway towards EU’s climate neutrality
  • In some regions, re-using oil and gas infrastructure to transport CO2 and hydrogen means allowing a cost-efficient deployment of CCS and hydrogen
  • Existing pipelines can be reused to transport CO2 for geological storage. The Re-Stream study identifies no technical showstoppers for transporting CO2 in the gaseous phase in Europe’s existing oil and gas pipeline – neither onshore nor offshore
  • Over half of the existing offshore pipelines assessed would be suitable for transporting CO2 in dense phase
  • More than 70% of the existing offshore pipeline length is relevant for CO2 transport as many of the long pipelines are linking harbours to CO2 storage locations. Regarding onshore pipelines, a minimum of 20% of the pipeline length shows some business opportunities linking sources to sinks (harbours or onshore storage sites)
  • Most of the offshore pipelines assessed can be used for transporting hydrogen
  • Onshore, close to 70% of the total pipeline length can be reused considering the current state of knowledge/standards. None of the pipelines analysed can be categorically excluded from reuse as of today
  • The reuse of existing pipelines offers strong potential for reducing costs, as compared to building new ones
  • For both CO2 and H2 transport, 53% to 82% of cost reduction can be achieved with around 1 to 2 MEUR/km cost reduction for the cases studied

Approach

5 tasks were undertaken:

  1. Data collection and mapping of existing pipelines in Europe;
  2. Identification of CO2 and H2 storage locations and potentials, CO2 emitters and potential H2 users;
  3. Assessment of potential for pipeline reuse and identification of case studies for the economic assessment;
  4. Economic assessment of reusing existing pipelines and storage locations compared to new build, for relevant cases (6 cases);
  5. Identification of technical challenges and mitigation options to unlock the reuse potential.

Background

The study was commissioned by Concawe, the scientific and technical body of the European Petroleum Refiners Association, Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP Europe).

All in all, 67 pipeline operators participated in the Re-Stream study, providing data that could be analysed within the Re-Stream project for approximately 58,000 km of pipelines (+24,200 km assessed by operators themselves as suitable for H2 reuse) representing half of the total offshore pipeline length and approximately 30% of the onshore oil and gas pipelines. The quantity of pipelines covered in the Re-Stream study represents a significant portion of the onshore and offshore oil and gas pipeline network in Europe.