Projections of energy usage generally agree that the world will be heavily reliant on fossil fuels well into the second half of the 21st Century. Until our energy demands can be met by alternative sources, geological storage of CO2 in depleted petroleum reservoirs and deep saline aquifers is widely acknowledged to offer one of the most promising and practical means to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning power stations in the developed world and more importantly in rapidly developing nations such as China and India. Estimated reductions in CO2 emission from carbon capture and storage from fossil fuel generating stations can be as high as 90%.
The UK Government has an ambitious target to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is expected to play a major role to meet this target. Although CO2 has been injected into petroleum reservoirs for over 50 years to improve oil recovery, there are still many uncertainties that must be addressed before governments will commit to the level of CCS that is needed to have a significant impact on CO2 emissions. A large amount of research has been initiated in many countries to address these uncertainties. In addition, several CO2 storage pilot studies have been completed or are in progress both on- and off-shore as well as within depleted petroleum reservoirs and saline aquifers.
This project addresses the gaps in our current knowledge in this field through an integrated laboratory and numerical modelling approach. The main objectives of the project can be summarised as:-
– to develop methodologies to optimise CO2 injection well placement and control strategies accounting for uncertainties and influence on neighbouring licenses.
– to establish the effects of in situ pressure and temperature conditions on caprock fracture closure and fault reactivation through laboratory and numerical investigations.
– to investigate and improve our understanding of the in situ wellbore cement/rock and cement caprock behaviour in order to assess well integrity.
– to develop novel wellbore and caprock leakage mitigation and remediation technologies utilising sealants and induced mineral precipitation processes.