Updated API Pipeline Standard Helps Support CCUS Expansion
John D. Siciliano
Posted August 18, 2021
Expanding the use of carbon capture, utilization and storage technology (CCUS) to commercial scale, by our industry and others, is integral to a lower-carbon future (see API’s Climate Action Framework). Elements of the latest edition of API’s most widely used pipeline standard provide important support for CCUS expansion.
API Standard 1104 (22nd edition, “Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities”) includes new technology and safety provisions for pipeline transportation of not only oil but also carbon dioxide collected by CCUS technology for storage or use in a variety of technologies and essential products – including construction materials, a range of cleaner-burning fuels, carbon nanotubes for advanced electronics and batteries, and other critical materials.
API Standard 1104 provides requirements for the types of welding needed to construct and maintain pipelines that transport both conventional commodities and carbon dioxide. The standard’s updated requirements are designed to enhance pipeline safety, structural integrity and efficiency through application of API’s world-class standard.
The standard helps enhance environmental performance by reducing the likelihood of structural failures thereby reducing the risk of release. The standard’s in-service welding requirements have the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas venting during repair and maintenance of operating pipelines. Debra Phillips, API Global Industry Services (GIS) senior vice president:
“Federal regulations already incorporate previous editions of API 1104, and the updated document strengthens the safe and environmentally sustainable transmission of crude oil, carbon dioxide and a variety of petroleum-based products by pipeline.”
The pipeline standard supports the Biden administration’s 2030 emissions reduction goals and, specifically, its position that expanded CCUS is critical as a CO2 reduction strategy in manufacturing and as a jobs creator. According to the White House:
“Meeting the 2030 emissions target will create millions of good-paying, middle class, union jobs … [including] engineers and construction workers expanding carbon capture and green hydrogen to forge cleaner steel and cement.”
Pipelines will also play a role in transporting CO2 from agribusiness grain processors and the farming industry to facilities used to sequester and transform the harvested CO2.
Meanwhile, the natural gas and oil industry is a leader in using captured CO2. Most of the dedicated CO2 pipelines in the world are transporting captured CO2 to enhance oil recovery by injected it into wells to develop harder-to-reach oil deposits. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), enhanced oil recovery (EOR) needs a more robust CO2 pipeline network and this, in turn, will help accelerate CCUS. NAS report:
“The carbon dioxide pipeline transport network would serve near-term oil industry demand for carbon dioxide while also connecting multiple prospective long-term dedicated geological storage resources. This would be a flexible long-term infrastructure asset for carbon management in the United States that would enable and accelerate future CCUS deployment.”
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for pipelines in meeting our climate goals:
“A transportation infrastructure that carries carbon dioxide in large enough quantities to make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation will require a large network of pipelines.”
The IPCC further explains that the U.S. Permian Basin in West Texas currently leads the world in long-distance CO2 transportation – noting that since 2002, more than 1,600 kilometers (about 1,000 miles) of new CO2 pipelines has been built for EOR in West Texas and nearby states. According to IPCC, the Permian Basin contains more than 90% of the active CO2 floods for EOR in the world.
About The Author
John Siciliano is a writer for API Global Industry Services’ Marketing and Communications Department. He joined API after 14 years as an energy and environment reporter and editor. Most recently, he was senior energy and environment writer for the Washington Examiner and the Daily on Energy newsletter. He began full-time reporting in Washington in 2001 as a foreign affairs correspondent, also covering national security and defense. His coverage of the Mideast and Saudi Arabia led him to become a full-time energy reporter. He earned a bachelors degree in psychology from Ohio Northern University, and he also holds a Masters of Science degree in education from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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