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CO2 storage report: key findings

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Entitled, ‘A Technical Basis for Carbon Dioxide Storage’, it provides guidance on how to assess and manage industrial-scale CO2 Geological Storage (CGS) projects through appropriate site assessment, operational parameters and monitoring. The report covers four main areas: site selection; well construction and integrity; monitoring programmes; and development, operations and closure.

Scott Imbus, CCP Storage Team Leader said: “With this report, the oil and gas industry is transferring decades of experience and nine years of technology development to the fledgling industry of CCS. We hope this will provide the critical boost to turn the potential of CCS into a practical reality.

The report draws on the shared expertise of the CCP participants, including research from more than 50 academic institutions, and feedback from leading environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs). CCP members include BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Petrobras, Shell, StatoilHydro, Suncor. The CCP is a technical authority on CCS, formed in 2000, with the aim of facilitating the sharing of expertise to advance the development of next-generation capture technologies, transport and the development of key aspects of CO2 geological storage, including a certification framework for CO2 geological storage.

Report key findings: overview

Site selection

The most effective way to ensure permanent safe storage is to choose sites of sufficient depth (deeper than 800 m where CO2 can be injected efficiently in its dense phase) with adequate capacity and an overlying sealing system to ensure containment of fluids. With well chosen sites, CO2 will be efficiently stored while greatly reducing the risk of operational and containment problems.

Well construction and integrity

Wells must have functional barriers that provide isolation between geological storage intervals and from drinking water and the near surface environment. Good drilling and cementing practices are more important than specific materials used in well construction.

Monitoring programmes

A wide array of monitoring technologies have been successfully applied by the oil and gas industry to understand fluid movement in the subsurface (e.g. geological structures below the surface). These techniques are readily adaptable to CO2 storage. The challenge is to select the most appropriate techniques to apply based on site specifics and level of risk.

Development, operations and closure

As in hydrocarbon extraction, the progression of a CO2 project from site assessment to closure will be accompanied by learning that will greatly improve its efficiency and risk profile. With operational and monitoring data, anomalous events can be detected and intervention applied. At the time of project closure, a thorough understanding of the geology of the system and fluid movement within it will form the basis for the future behaviour of CO2 and longer term needs for monitoring and intervention contingencies.

Author: CO2 Capture Project (CCP) 

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