Gallic energy company Total has initiated a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration project in the Lacq basin in southwestern France. The project calls for up to 150,000 metric tons of CO2 to be injected into a depleted natural gas field in Rousse over a period of two years from the end of 2008.

<p>The first link in the novel process is a steam production unit at the Lacq gas processing plant. Oxygen will be used for combustion rather than air to obtain a more concentrated CO2 stream that will be easier to capture. Once purified, the CO2 will be compressed and conveyed via pipeline to the depleted Rousse field, 30km from Lacq, where it will be injected through an existing well into a rock formation 4,500m underground. <br /><br />The project, which will cost nearly E60 million, will be carried out in partnership with Air Liquide and in cooperation with the French Petroleum Institute (IFP), the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) and others. Total has just launched the engineering study phase. CO2 injection is scheduled to begin in November 2008.<br /><br />This project will demonstrate the role that CO2 capture and sequestration can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial installations, noted Christophe de Margerie, president of exploration & production at Total.</p>