The huge geological storage capacity for CO2 within depleted oil reservoirs and deep saline aquifers places the UK in an ideal position to reduce its carbon emissions using carbon capture and storage technology. There is, however, an urgent need to undertake research in several key areas for the safe and secure storage of CO2;
Secure storage – leakage security of geological reservoir seals, impact of petroleum production e.g. abandoned well bores & corrosion by CO2-rich fluids; production-induced reservoir compaction & reservoir and top seal tensile or shear failure at CO2 injection pressures that are lower than those originally encountered; capillary failure of the top seal. Monitoring leakage/movement – monitoring of CO2 movement and leakage within the sub-surface to support the government regulatory framework for CO2 storage sites; time-lapse seismometry currently offers one of the most encouraging tools to use for this purpose. Optimising CO2 Injection strategies – injectivity rate of CO2 injection into depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers; optimising strategies for CO2 i.e. injection to maximize oil recovered & CO2 stored versus cost. Storage site distribution – position and storage capacity of depleted oil fields & saline aquifers requires detailed mapping to identify the location and capacity of storage sites within both the UK and internationally e.g. China and India. CO2 pipeline transfer safety– corrosion of oil field pipelines by CO2; risk and safety analysis of catastrophic leakage of CO2 at the surface.
For further details please see the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Group pages in the School of Earth and Environment.