The case for underground CO2 sequestration in northern Europe
R. A. Chadwick, S. Holloway, M. S. Brook, G. A. Kirby, 2004. "The case for underground CO2 sequestration in northern Europe", Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide, Shelagh J. Baines, Richard H. Worden
Download citation file:
In northern Europe numerous industrial point sources of CO2 surround the North Sea Basin, which contains a number of viable underground sequestration opportunities. These include injection into depleted oil and gas fields and into major regional aquifers; the latter probably offering the greatest ultimate storage potential. At the Sleipner gas field, CO2 is being injected into the Utsira Sand, a large saline aquifer. More than 6 Mt of CO2 have currently been injected, with a projected final target of about 20 Mt. Time-lapse seismic reflection data are being used to monitor the operation and have provided clear images of the CO2 plume and its development with time. Moreover, CO2 volumetrics derived from the seismic data are consistent with the well injection figures. In conjunction with reservoir simulation studies, time-lapse seismic monitoring seems, therefore, to offer an effective means of predicting the future growth, migration and dispersion of the CO2 plume. Another important aquifer, the Bunter Sandstone, stretches from Britain to Poland. In the UK sector alone, the pore volume in structural closures is equivalent to about 350 years’ worth of current CO2 emissions from UK power generation. Industrial CO2 sources in northern Europe are well placed to exploit these major subsurface reservoirs and European countries are technically very well equipped to use and develop this emerging technology.
Figures & Tables
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main compound identified as affecting the stability of the Earth’s climate. A significant reduction in the volume of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere is a key mechanism for mitigating climate change. Geological storage of CO2, or the injection and long-term stabilization of large volumes of CO2 in the subsurface in saline aquifers, in existing hydrocarbon reservoirs or in unmineable coal seams, is one of the more technologically advanced options available. A number of studies have been carried out and are reported here. They are aimed at understanding the safety, physical and chemical behaviour and long-term fate of CO2 when stored in geological formations. Until efficient, alternative energy options can be developed, geological storage of CO2, the subject of this volume, provides a mechanism to reduce carbon emissions significantly whilst continuing to meet the global demand for energy.