By Nancy Ford
BIC Magazine , January 3,2023
Freeport LNG operates one of the largest natural gas liquefaction and export facilities in the world, and in late 2021, representatives for the facility announced its plan to develop a new carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project.
With Talos Energy Inc. as its project manager and operator, the Freeport LNG (FLNG) CCS project will expand FLNG’s gas liquefaction capacity to more than 20 MPTA.
Roberto Ruiperez Vara, director of capital projects with Freeport LNG, said the objective is to improve the company’s carbon footprint. “We already have the lowest carbon footprint of all liquefaction plants around the world because we are an all-electric facility,” Vara said. “All of the drivers in our facility are electric motors.”’
Vara said the project seeks to improve plant operations and reliability. An overview of the project includes facilities for regasification, storage and a trucking facility, an underground storage cavern, the Stratton Bridge Meter Station and a liquefaction pretreatment and compression facility.
Currently, the site has three trains and the company is planning to install a fourth.
We are going to collect the CO2 stream from each of the trains in a common pipeline that will go through the plants,” Vara added, noting that one of the challenges would be constructing the pipeline in a facility as it conducts ongoing operations.
The FLNG CCS project is part of a portfolio that joins four other Talos projects along the Gulf Coast, said Cory Weinbel, director of carbon capture utilization and storage projects with Talos Energy.
“This project is different in that we call it ‘a sequestration point source storage project,’” Weinbel said. “What that means is that everything we’re doing is self-contained within the area where we are gathering emissions. Our whole idea is to permanently restore the CO2 right there on our property. We’re looking at an injection of about 650 tons per annum, maximum.”
“This is very low-pressure CO2” Weinbel said, joining Vara on a panel at the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Forum, held recently in Houston. “My guys call it ‘acid gas’ because it has enough water in it that it’s very corrosive. We get CO2 feed, which is primarily water, and take it up to the acreage where we place it in what we call the central gathering facility.”
This objective, Weinbel said, is to boost the pressure enough to where it can get injected into the injection well. Currently, Weinbel elaborated, the plan calls for having one primary injection well.
“It’s actually located outside of a levee with a road on it, so it allows access to Freeport LNG’s plant,” Weinbel continued. “One of the challenges we face on this project is that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is executing a levee height increase at the same time. We’re seeing this not just here but also in Bayou Bend in the Port Arthur, Texas, area which is our other project area.”
This simultaneous activity “adds some complexity” for people who manage projects, Weinbel said. “As you can imagine, it’s going to impact things like access to the site, and sharing resources,” he said, adding that simply accessing the levee or doing anything at, near or on the levee is very difficult.
Weinbel said it comes as no surprise that the permitting and regulatory side is an additional, significant challenge, and there are even more regulatory issues brought on by the nature of the area, such as the nearby wetlands.
The first injection is expected to occur by year-end 2024, Weinbel concluded.