Skylark: Pioneering excellence in CO2 pipeline safety

Joint Industry Project

Pioneering excellence to address crucial challenges related to the safe operation of CO2 pipelines.

Welcome to Skylark, a cutting-edge Joint Industry Project (JIP) that stands at the forefront of advancing safety standards in carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline operations. As a collaborative initiative led by DNV, in conjunction with the UK HSE Science Division (HSE SD) and esteemed partners, Skylark is dedicated to addressing intricate challenges posed by CO2 pipelines. This project is instrumental in realizing the imperative outlined in DNV's Energy Transition Outlook 2022, emphasizing the need for substantial scaling up of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to rectify emissions overshoot by 2050.

Challenge: Unlocking the potential of carbon capture and storage

Skylark addresses the challenges posed by the significant scaling up of CCS to eliminate emissions accumulated before 2050. The focus is on understanding and mitigating risks associated with the transportation of CO2 from industrial sources to storage facilities through both onshore and offshore pipelines.

  • Challenge 1: Source characteristics from CO2 pipeline craters - Understanding the interaction between pipeline failure, crater formation, and atmospheric conditions to predict dispersing behaviour in different scenarios.
  • Challenge 2: Terrain effects on dense clouds - Investigating the influence of slopes, valleys, and complex terrain on the behaviour of dense vapor clouds produced by CO2 sources.
  • Challenge 3: Emergency Response - Testing equipment, techniques, and procedures used by emergency responders in large CO2 releases, including search and rescue operations and the impact on internal combustion engines.
  • Challenge 4: Operational Issues (venting) - Studying the outflow rates, vent heights, and hazard distances associated with necessary venting events, ensuring safe dispersion of gas without compromising pipeline integrity.
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Example of a large-scale experiment conducted at DNV Spadeadam as part of the COSHER Joint Industry Project

Objective: Answering upcoming challenges in onshore CO2 pipeline operations

The primary objective of Skylark is to address upcoming challenges related to the safe operation of CO2 pipelines. This includes enhancing the understanding of source characteristics, terrain effects on dense clouds, emergency response protocols, and operational issues such as venting.

Approach: Collaborative work packages for holistic solutions

Skylark employs a strategic approach through a series of meticulously designed work packages. In collaboration with delivery partners—HSE SD, University of Arkansas, Ricardos UK National Chemical Emergency Centre, and Met Office—Skylark is set to deliver comprehensive insights into CO2 pipeline dynamics.

  • WP0 - Project Management: Coordinating the JIP throughout its approximately three-year duration.
  • WP1 - CO2 Pipeline Craters and Source Terms: Large-scale experiments assessing crater formation and different source terms.
  • WP2 - Wind Tunnel Experiments: Medium-scale experiments at the University of Arkansas to investigate source behavior under controlled atmospheric conditions.
  • WP3 - Simple Terrain Dispersion Experiments: Large-scale releases of CO2 onto simple slopes with dispersion measurements.
  • WP4 - Complex Terrain Dispersion Experiments: Dense phase releases onto complex terrain, including multi-planar slopes, with dispersion measurements.
  • WP5 - Model Development and Validation: Testing, developing, and validating models against experimental data to enable robust pipeline risk assessment and emergency response planning.
  • WP6 - Emergency Response: Engaging with emergency responders to develop best practices and test critical equipment for operability in emergency scenarios.
  • WP7 - Venting: Conducting near full-scale experiments alongside other work packages to assess potential hazards at ground level.

Duration of the project: Navigating a three-year journey

Skylark is anticipated to span approximately three years, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of the complexities associated with CO2 pipeline operations.

Project Partners: A collaborative force for innovation

Skylark brings together a powerhouse of partners:

  • DNV (Lead)
  • UK HSE Science Division (HSE SD)
  • University of Arkansas
  • Ricardo’s UK National Chemical Emergency Centre
  • Met Office

Project Status: Crafting the future of CO2 pipeline safety

Currently in the planning and review phase, Skylark has already garnered significant industry engagement. A workshop and online poll showcased widespread interest, reaffirming the project's significance.

Contact information: For further exploration

For more information, please reach out to Dan Allason, Principal Consultant.

Early engagement: Industry commitment and government support

Industry engagement in the project has been significant with high numbers of attendees at a workshop held on 6th October in person at DNV’s Spadeadam Research and Testing Centre and online via Teams. A subsequent online poll revealed wide ranging and committed interest in this project. The poll is still available to complete at the following link:

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Further to the garnered interest of industry, the UK Government is also in agreement that this project is needed for the furtherment of CCS projects in the UK and abroad. It is expected that a proportion of the funding required will come from UK Government with the remainder being sought from industry sponsors.

Contact us

Daniel Allason

Daniel Allason

Senior Principal Consultant

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