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British Geological Survey

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  • The data consists of a short project update for the 2015/16 annual report and the final report for the project. The update describes work carried-out on behalf of the 'Fault seal controls on CO2 storage capacity in aquifers' project funded by the UKCCS Research Centre, grant number UKCCSRC-C1-14. The report details the latter stages of the project, the final conclusions and results dissemination throughout the project.

  • The year 2011 recorded the highest ever global consumption of energy, estimated at more than 12 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. Because of this, and despite increasingly widespread deployment of renewable energy generation, annual global emissions of greenhouse gases are continuing to rise, underpinned by increasing consumption of fossil fuels. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is currently the only available technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from fossil fuel power stations and other industrial facilities such as oil refineries, steel works, cement factories and chemical plants. However, achieving meaningful emissions reduction requires wide deployment of large scale CCS and will involve long term storage of very large volumes of CO2 in the subsurface. Ultimately, if CCS were to be rolled out globally, volumes of injected carbon dioxide could become comparable, on an annual basis, to world hydrocarbon production. The most likely sites for CO2 storage are depleted oil and gas fields or saline aquifers. Understanding and monitoring geomechanical processes within different types of storage site is crucial for site selection, for achieving long term security of storage and for instilling wider confidence in the safety and effectiveness of CCS. In many cases depleted hydrocarbon fields have experienced strong pressure decrease during production which may have affected the integrity of the caprock seal; furthermore, CO2 injection into saline aquifers will displace large volumes of groundwater (brine). In all cases, as injection proceeds and reservoir pressures increase, maintaining the geomechanical stability of the storage reservoir will be of great importance. Understanding and managing these subsurface processes is key to minimising any risk that CO2 storage could result in unexpected effects such as induced earthquakes or damage to caprock seal integrity. Experience from existing large-scale CO2 injection sites shows that monitoring tools such as time-lapse 3D seismic, micro-seismic monitoring and satellite interferometry have the potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of reservoir processes, including fine-scale flow of CO2, fluid pressure changes, induced seismic activity and ground displacements. The DiSECCS project will bring together monitoring datasets from the world's three industrial scale CO2 storage sites at Sleipner (offshore Norway), Snohvit (offshore Norway) and In Salah (Algeria) to develop and test advanced and innovative monitoring tools and methods for the measurement and characterisation of pressure increase, CO2 migration and fluid saturation changes and geomechanical response. A key element of the research will be to identify those storage reservoir types that will be suitable for large-scale CO2 storage without unwanted geomechanical effects, and to develop monitoring tools and strategies to ensure safe and effective storage site performance. In addition, our research will explore public attitudes to CO2 storage. Grant number: EP/K035878/1.

  • This is one of the early papers on CO2 storage. Natural analogues indicate that it is possible to dispose of CO2 underground in closed structures on deep aquifers. Disposal into depleted or exhausted hydrocarbon fields has many advantages, e.g. proven seal, known storage capacity, no exploration costs. Unfortunately there are very few hydrocarbon fields in the UK onshore area, and their total CO2 storage capacity is very low compared to annual UK CO2 production from power generation. The best aquifers for CO2 disposal onshore are the widespread Permo-Triassic sandstones. Further onshore potential exists in younger Mesozoic reservoirs. Offshore, disposal into depleted oil fields (where cost credits from enhanced oil recovery could be beneficial) or the Perno-Triassic gas fields of the southern North Sea, and nearby associated closures of the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifer, appear to provide the best prospects. doi:10.1016/0196-8904(93)90038-C.

  • The IEA (International Energy Agency) Weyburn Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitoring and Storage Project has analysed the effects of a miscible CO2 flood into a carbonate reservoir rock at an onshore Canadian oilfield. Anthropogenic CO2 is being injected as part of an enhanced oil recovery operation. The European research was aimed at analysing longterm migration pathways of CO2 and the effects of CO2 on the hydrochemical and mineralogical properties of the reservoir rock.

  • This presentation on the EPSRC project, DiSECCS, was presented at the Cranfield Biannual, 8.04.13. Grant number: Grant number: EP/K035878/1.

  • Revised full proposal for scientific drilling (852-CPP2) 'GlaciStore: Understanding Pleistocene glaciation and basin processes and their impact on fluid migration pathways (North Sea)', submitted to Integrated Ocean Discovery Programme (IODP) April 2016. The proponent 'GlaciStore' consortium comprises research and industry organisations from the UK, Norway, USA and Canada. The full proposal describes the relationship of the proposed research with the IODP science plan, sets the regional background and describes and illustrates three scientific objectives. The objectives are to: establish a high-resolution depositional and chronological framework defining multiple cycles of glacial advance and retreat over the last 2.6 Ma by investigating the strata preserved in the centre of the NSB by scientific drilling, sampling and detailed analysis; investigate how the temporal variations in depositional environment and geochemistry of the different stratigraphic units have affected the pore fluids (dissolved gases, salts and isotopes) and the microbial community; determine the measurable impact on geomechanical properties of strata (porosity, rock stiffness, in-situ stresses, pore pressure, fractures) caused by cycles of glacial loading and unloading. The drilling and sampling strategy, standard drilling and logging operations and the specialist measurements expected to be taken are described. Related initiatives and wider context of the proposed research also the initial and planned strategy for support from industry and government are outlined. The lead submitter, on behalf to the GlaciStore consortium is Heather Stewart, British Geological Survey (BGS).The 32 proponents from the UK and Norway (BGS, Institute for Energy Technology, Lundin Norway AS, Memorial University of Newfoundland, SINTEF Energy Research, Statoil ASA, University of Bergen, University of Edinburgh University of Oslo, University of Texas at Austin and University of Ottowa) and their expertise are listed and detailed. Site forms for each of the 13 proposed drilling sites are included.The full proposal is a pdf format file. This is restricted to the proponents for publication and to progress to a revised full proposal accepted for drilling by IODP. UKCCSRC Grant UKCCSRC-C1-30.

  • We aim to de-risk the development of the major potential CO2 storage reservoirs in the UK sector of the Northern and Central North Sea by developing our understanding of the geometry and properties of the overburden above the potential reservoirs (including their seals), and by developing an understanding of the likely hydraulic connectivity in the reservoirs, surrounding strata and overburden and hence the likely flow paths for CO2 and formation brine within and between them. These reservoirs are some of the most widespread and internally hydraulically well-connected reservoirs on the UK Continental Shelf and appear to have excellent potential for high injectivity, large capacity without excessive pressure rise and, in some cases, good containment. Consequently, they promise to be of great significance if CCS becomes a major greenhouse gas mitigation technology in the UK. Grant number: UKCCSRC-C1-30.

  • The data consists of a poster presented at 'The Fourth International Conference on Fault and Top Seals', Almeria, Spain, 20-24th September 2015. The abstract describes work carried-out on behalf of the 'Fault seal controls on CO2 storage capacity in aquifers' project funded by the UKCCS Research Centre, grant number UKCCSRC-C1-14. Shallow gas accumulations in the Netherlands sector of the Southern North Sea provide an opportunity to study their coincidence with faulting. Although difficult to attribute the occurrence of shallow gas to leakage of thermogenic fluids from depth (indeed shallow-sourced biogenic gas is common in the North Sea), evidence suggests a relationship, and the common attributes of the faults provide indications of the conditions under which faults in the region may leak, providing a useful indications of factors that should be avoided during CO2 storage operations.

  • It is crucial that the engineered seals of boreholes in the vicinity of a deep storage facility remain effective for considerable timescales if the long-term geological containment of stored CO2 is to be effective. These timescales extend beyond those achievable by laboratory experiments or industrial experience. Study of the carbonation of natural Ca silicate hydrate (CSH) phases provides a useful insight into the alteration processes and evolution of cement phases over long-timescales more comparable with those considered in performance assessments. Samples from two such natural analogues in Northern Ireland have been compared with samples from laboratory experiments on the carbonation of Portland cement. Samples showed similar carbonation reaction processes even though the natural and experimental samples underwent carbonation under very different conditions and timescales. These included conversion of the CSH phases to CaCO3 and SiO2, and the formation of a well-defined reaction front. In laboratory experiments the reaction front is associated with localised Ca migration, localised matrix porosity increase, and localised shrinkage of the cement matrix with concomitant cracking. Behind the reaction front is a zone of CaCO3 precipitation that partly seals porosity. A broader and more porous/permeable reaction zone was created in the laboratory experiments compared to the natural samples, and it is possible that short-term experiments might not fully replicate slower, longer-term processes. That the natural samples had only undergone limited carbonation, even though they had been exposed to atmospheric CO2 or dissolved View the MathML sourceHCO3- in groundwater for several thousands of years, may indicate that the limited amounts of carbonate mineral formation may have protected the CSH phases from further reaction. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.09.007.

  • The data consists of an extended abstract submitted to 'The Fourth International Conference on Fault and Top Seals', Almeria, Spain, 20-24th September 2015. The abstract describes work carried-out on behalf of the 'Fault seal controls on CO2 storage capacity in aquifers' project funded by the UKCCS Research Centre, grant number UKCCSRC-C1-14. The CO2-rich St. Johns Dome reservoir in Arizona provides a useful analogue for leaking CO2 storage sites, and the abstract describes an analysis of the fault-seal behaviour at the site.