Shell and Partners to Launch Offshore Fuel Cell Project

June 10, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (Shell, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) has announced the launch of a project in Norway to explore possible large-scale applications of new zero-emission, solid-oxide fuel cell technology driven by natural gas. A project team consisting of Shell International Ltd., Aker Kvaerner and Statkraft will perform a pilot study to explore the technology's potential on a technical and commercial basis more closely. The companies aim is to complete the project by 2010 and become the first in the world to develop and commercialize large-scale, multi-megawatt fuel cells of this type.

The technology involves "capturing" carbon dioxide and the concept of an arrestor system and afterburner, which produces outputs of high-purity carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide could then be sequestered or used to service smaller carbon dioxide markets.

"Should we be successful, an important application of the technology may be powering offshore oil and gas platforms," said Jeroen van der Veer, vice chairman of the committee of managing directors of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. "These platforms are often far from land and have their own power systems. Fuel cells offer an elegant way to replace today's gas turbines. They offer high efficiencies and, using Shell's own technology, the potential to separate and sequester carbon dioxide in reservoirs below the seabed."