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CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering

ENSURE: Effective monitoring of long-term site stability for transparent carbon capture and storage hazard assessment

Alternative title: Effektiv overvåkning for langsiktig stabilitet og transparent vurdering av seismisk fare

Awarded: NOK 6.6 mill.

Underground storage of CO2 in geologic formations is necessary in order to reach climate neutrality by 2050 or earlier. To verify that the CO2 remains within the desired sealed reservoir, storage operations need to be properly monitored. Monitoring must also immediately identify any potential propagation of CO2 in undesired directions in the underground and warn about deformation that may potentially lead to CO2 leakage. Microseismic monitoring is the ideal technology to continuously monitor even minuscule rapid deformations in the subsurface. Real-time processing and interpretation of location, size, and type of these deformations provides an information basis for mitigation actions. The ENSURE project investigates how to design highly performing, yet cost-effective microseismic monitoring systems tailored for CO2 storage. For this purpose, we compare data collected from existing CO2 storage sites in Canada, France, Norway, UK, and the US. These data sets will be complemented by newly acquired data, including data recorded by fiberoptic sensing. We will provide recommendations for cost-effective fit-for-purpose monitoring networks for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites accompanied by a communication strategy. Pre-emptive measures to prevent leakages can be structured into a traffic light system, where the characteristics of observed microseismicity may lead for example to a reduction in injection rates (yellow-level) or even a temporal shut-in of injection wells (red-level), if pre-defined threshold-rules are exceeded. We aim to improve the reliability of existing, rather rigid traffic-light systems. In addition, we will work on communication strategies to translate the scientific language of for example certain threshold parameters to a language that is understandable to stakeholders. Using questionnaire surveys, we will find ways for optimized communication means towards the general public about CO2 storage operation and monitoring.

Our aim is to advance microseismic monitoring technology to become the accepted tool for seal integrity verification in large-scale CCS operations. This requires a robust identification of insufficient microseismic detection capability, advanced microseismic processing tools for long-term seal stability assessment as well as analyzing differences in public views and perceived risks towards CCS-induced seismicity. We plan to reach this goal through developing advanced analysis tools and comparing data, partly existing and partly newly acquired, from a variety of sensor types and networks at various sites, including fiberoptic sensors. This will lead to design recommendations for cost-effective fit-for-purpose networks and provide a strategy for translation of seismological observables into traffic-light-system threshold values. Public perceptions will be assessed by state-of-the-art empirical socio-economic survey methods using scenarios and parameters provided by the seismological analysis. This will result in recommendations on effective communication strategies for advancing public trust in CCS technology. This comprehensive, data-driven study is the first of its kind to not only assess but also optimize the quality and efficiency of microseismic monitoring for CCS seal integrity verification. The existing monitoring infrastructure that we will have access to through our industry partners is unprecedented in CCS context and will, for the first time, provide the means to conduct a comparative analysis of real CCS microseismic monitoring data. We anticipate to improve the reliability and accuracy of traffic light systems and hazard forecasts by identifying seismological discriminants and tools to guide feedback loops and decision support systems. Since our project brings together key industry players with academic institutions, we will provide a focused key contribution to accelerate the time to market for CCS technology.

Funding scheme:

CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering