An update from the Geophysical Modelling for CO2 Storage, Monitoring and Appraisal” meeting

Written by Montserrat Recasens, PhD student at the Heriot-Watt University, whose attendance at the Geophysical Modelling for CO2 Storage, Monitoring and Appraisal meeting on 2-3 November 2015 (University of Leeds) was kindly supported by the UKCCSRC ECR Meeting Found.

The first day started with an optional dinner where people had the opportunity to become acquainted with one another. Moreover, it was a great occasion to quietly discuss about the CO2 capture and storage, a fascinating scientific subject, as well as one of the tools to mitigate the serious consequences of the climatic change in the future.

The second day was set in full swing with an interesting variety of brilliant presentations. The talks were largely focused on geomechanical and geophysical modelling in order to show information about potential fault reactivation, fluid flow, seismic events and risk of CO2 leakage through reactivated faults. I should like to highlight the presentations that I have been considered most relevant.

The presentation of Dr. Jonny Rutqvist (from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California), “Potential fault reactivation and notable seismic events”, explained in detail the geomechanical response of a rock (e.g. pressure and temperature changes; stress and deformation rock), once the CO2 is safely injected in an underground geological formation. His study has been carried out using the TOUGH and the FLAC 3D software. The talk ended up by concluding that the different CO2 injection rates and different permeabilities will be affected in the amount of leakage of CO2 along faults.

From an engineering point of view, the presentation of Dr. Andrew Cavanagh (from Statoil ASA), “20 years and 20MT: Statoil storage experience“, showed some geological/geophysical models built with a specific software called ECLIPSE developed by Schlumberger company. These models represent the Sleipner plume and plume calibration. According to a recent study by Statoil, seismic monitoring has allowed for significant improvements in understanding the CO2 flow dynamics. Furthermore, it is necessary to have an improved basis for predicting the future plume distribution and estimation of dissolved CO2. The talk concluded that flow modelling based on seismic clearly indicate that the plume beneath the caprock is dominated by gravity.

Several posters presentations showed at the end of day, reflected the hard work that has been carried out on different CCS research groups around UK. It was the perfect moment to exchange different points of view and to discuss all together about issues related to CO2 storage. A great meeting!