A CO2CRC research project has delivered important findings into the migration and monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2) stored underground.
The Otway Stage 2C project aimed to find if the movement of CO2 deeply injected as part of carbon capture and storage (CSS) could be quickly detected.
Between December 2015 and April 2016, CO2CRC injected 15,000 t of CO2 into a saline aquifer approximately 1,500 m underground at the Otway National Research Facility in Nirranda South, Victoria.
The CO2 plume was detected and tracked during the injection and in the following years, primarily monitored using geophone receivers buried under the surface and surface orbital vibrators ensuring data could be acquired continuously.
The Curtin University led research – with support by CSIRO and Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory – demonstrated the small amount of CO2 can be detected and successfully mapped using seismic monitoring tools.
CO2CRC CEO David Byers said the success of the Stage 2C in observing the behaviour of a small CO2 plume with seismic monitoring will pave the way for CCS projects.
“The ability to reliably predict the movement of CO2 and optimise the use of seismic monitoring to validate the plume migration path will be invaluable to CCS project operators and regulators around the world,” said Mr Byers.
CO2CRC will now focus on its biggest project to date: Otway Stage 3, which will demonstrate the next generation of sub-surface monitoring technologies and improve the efficiency of storage monitoring.
“Our hope is that the applied scientific and technological research conducted at CO2CRC’s Otway National Research Facility will lead to more CCS projects around the world, allowing CCS to play a vital role in meeting the dual challenge of reducing emissions across all major industry sectors while meeting the growing global demand for affordable and reliable energy,” said Mr Byers.
A workflow developed under Stage 2C to verify the stabilisation of the CO2 plume using seismic data and dynamic modelling will be tested in the project’s next stage, expected to be completed by June 2020.
For more information visit the CO2CRC website.
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