Core Research Projects: Storage & Transport, B3 – CO2 Modelling Software Assessment


Key facts about this core research project

Theme: Storage & transport
Researchers: Dr Sam Krevor, Dr Jerome Neufeld, Dr Stuart Gilfillan, Prof Stuart Haszeldine, John Williams
Institution: University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and British Geological Survey
Start date: 2017

Why is this research needed?

Two scoping studies aim to investigate a fit-for-purpose numerical simulator for offshore UK CO2 stores. Efficient use, and handover, of CO2 storage sites relies on conformance to modelled predictions. The models are not accurate across 1010 size scales required. Using the correct physics, this research aims to begin a design process to make better software predicting CO2 saturation and spread.

CO2 modelling software (e.g. ECLIPSE, TOUGH) is derived from hydrocarbon and radwaste applications, where induced pressure gradients from the injecting or producing wellbores dominate the flow field, and where flow is dominated by modal permeability, not for CO2 top decile permeability. These models are not correct for modelling CO2-brine flow, pressure, pore accumulation, and lateral migration on the much larger 10-100 km scales characteristic of North Sea reservoirs where buoyancy-driven flow dominates[1].

[1] Huppert H. E., Neufeld, J. A.. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 2014, 46, 255–272.

What is this research investigating?

This project plans to simulate 1 Gt CO2 storage from inception through optimised injection and pressure management, to policing and managing of CO2 dispersion, dissolution, and eventual handover and abandonment.

A simplified numerical framework will be adopted which maximises attention on horizontal resolution by analytically parameterising the vertical structure of the CO2 plume. Upscaling of processes and buoyant migration through permeability and capillarity heterogeneities, will be incorporated from the research projects B1 and B2. A computationally efficient architecture will be designed to scale-up Big Data available from micro-scale imaging into a digital rock model, and then convert to size scales incorporating seismic attributes and uncertainty.

What does the research hope to achieve?

It is intended that results will feed into an application to RCUK, to develop advanced CO2-specified software.

Research updates

See below for recent updates and resources on this research project.


September 2019 Conference presentation

See the presentation from our September 2019 Conference (Overview of storage theme projects)


September 2019 Conference presentation

See the presentation from our September 2019 Conference (BGS contribution to storage theme projects)


September 2019 Conference blog

See the blog by Mathilde Fajardy about this project from our September 2019 Conference

Research outputs

Find links to publications, datasets and any other outputs below.


Energy Policy

Comment on ``Facing the uncertainty of CO2 storage capacity in China by developing different storage scenarios`` by Samuel Höller and Peter Viebahn


Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

Negative emissions technologies and carbon capture and storage to achieve the Paris Agreement commitments.


International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Hydrogen storage in porous geological formations - onshore play opportunities in the midland valley (Scotland, UK)



Geological Storage of CO2 in Deep Saline Formations


Climate Policy

Progressive supply-side policy under the Paris Agreement to enhance geological carbon storage


Advancing Earth and Space Science

Representative elementary volumes, hysteresis and heterogeneity in multiphase flow from the pore to continuum scale


Journal of Applied Mechanics

Deformation of an Elastic Beam on a Winkler Foundation


Energy & Environmental Science

Global geologic carbon storage requirements of climate change mitigation scenarios