CO2 Aquifer Storage Site Evaluation and Monitoring (CASSEM)

The methodology to identify, verify and test candidate reservoir formations, seal rocks and structural traps for CO2 storage is a primary requirement for UK carbon capture and storage. The research activities proposed in WP1 aim to deliver up to date summaries, 3D analysis and sample descriptions of the underpinning geological formations and structures present in the subsurface adjacent to the selected onshore and coastal power generation sites. This data is required to underpin and deliver the research activities of the other partners. 1.Geological data Geological data is available at many different scales for onshore UK and adjacent offshore area and has been acquired for many different purposes for more than 180 years. Legacy and modern data sets derived from seismic, mine plan, borehole and field observation will be combined in a common format and interpreted for the purposes of subsurface CO2 storage. This data will be captured in digital format to 3D computer models of rock formations and cross-cutting faults to be interpreted, presented and visualised in three dimensions. Existing computer interpretations constructed in the site areas will be used and extended to be relevant to CO2 storage. This includes the identification of porous aquifer formations suitable for storage, geological structures that would trap fluids beneath impermeable seals and the presence of faults that would either seal or breach the trap. This will be tested by the WP5 borehole. 2. Rock properties The properties of the aquifer and seal formations will be verified from rock samples. Existing samples in archive collections will be reviewed and new sites for sample collection will be identified. Rock samples will be collected and include material from existing boreholes and the WP5 activity. Mineralogical analysis by combination of optical microscopy and back-scattered scanning electron microscopy will be provided along with estimates of total porosity including pore-size distribution. This will provide the precursor data for more detailed analysis and modelling by the academic partners. 3. Modelled surfaces BGS will generate computer modelled surfaces that will be exported and used within oil-industry computer software, together with properties to be measured from the rock samples, to assess subsurface traps for fluid storage. These ‘hard data’ will also contribute to the appraisal of any risks to the successful implementation of CO2 storage. 4. Provision of advice BGS staff with extensive experience in CO2 project work both in the UK and internationally will provide input into the project, attend meetings and guide delivery and reporting to support government policy and regulation. 5. Reporting and data archiving BGS project staff will provide interim reports and summaries as required and contribute to the final report. It is envisaged that the all data generated by the project will be archived and stored with the National Geoscience Data Centre and be made accessible to all interested parties.