The Value of CaCTUS – Evaluating the Business Potential for Wintershall of Carbon Capture, Transportation, Utilization and Storage

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Carbon capture, transportation, utilization and storage are technologies used to lower the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. The implementation of these technologies, however, depends on high capital investment and long planning and construction phases. Wintershall, as a globally active gas and oil producer, disposes of technical capabilities to transport CO2 and to provide geological storage locations in order to permanently store the greenhouse gas. This thesis examines the business potential of Wintershall to embark on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) by analyzing the current political and economic boundary conditions. For this purpose, the EU CCS Directive, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and global carbon pricing initiatives are discussed. Furthermore, each part of the CCS chain is described and the estimated costs for the various facilities required for a full chain CCS project are summarized from current literature. As Wintershall produces gas from already very mature fields in the Dutch North Sea, these assets represent prime targets for CO2 storage after the end of their productive lives and offer the opportunity to delay expensive decommissioning liabilities. In the practical part of this thesis, a profitability analysis for a hypothetical CCS project is performed, assuming a carbon tax of € 50/tCO2. The results of this analysis show that several essential prerequisites are required to create a business case with CCS: •Adequate price on carbon •Use of already existing, depleted oil and gas fields •Re-use of pipelines •Short transport distances The analyses undertaken in this thesis demonstrate that the required price level on carbon emissions in the EU can be clearly influenced by Wintershall and the re-use of existing pipelines or the use of depleted oil and gas fields as storage location. Besides the economic analysis, a SWOT analysis is performed for the company to summarize and make aware of the external situation and to filter Wintershall’s strengths and weaknesses regarding CCS. Due to their core business, the company disposes of expertise in all disciplines relevant for CO2 storage and is experienced in gas transportation and pipeline construction. In the absence of sufficient expertise in capturing CO2, however, a partnering approach is required. At present, the price on carbon emissions does not allow for a profitable execution of CCS projects. This gap can be closed by the application for European or national financial support. The emerging intensification of climate protection efforts can lead to stricter regulatory constraints on CO2 emissions, ultimately turning CCS into a viable business for Wintershall.


Translated title of the contributionDer Wert von CaCTUS - Bewertung des wirtschaftlichen Potenzials von CO2-Abscheidung, -Transport, -Nutzung und -Speicherung für Wintershall
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date20 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019