Science Director National Geosequestration Laboratory, Group Leader Exploration Geoscience, Acting-CEO
14:00 - 14:30
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
T2.1 CSIRO In-Situ Laboratory Project to De-Risk Deployment of Carbon Storage
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been identified as one of the major quantitatively significant industrial processes for reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere (IPCC, 2005). However, the number of commercial-scale operations remains relatively low. Some of the reasons for the slow deployment include time taken to characterise the geology of prospective sites, obtaining and maintaining social licence to operate and regulatory challenges (i.e. regulation may be absent). The West Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has been testing many of these aspects through their South West Hub CCS Project, near Harvey, approximately 150 km south of Perth, Western Australia. A consortium of researchers and funding agents have worked together at the South West Hub site to characterise the geology of a greenfield area using seismic surveys, well drilling and analytical programs which have provided data to evaluate the potential for commercial CO2 storage (Stalker and Van Gent, 2017, and references therein).
The In Situ Laboratory Project is nested within the South West Hub CCS Project, utilising one of the previously drilled wells. Harvey 2 is a 400 m deep stratigraphic well, converted to become an injector well. A new monitoring well has been drilled 6 m from the injection well to a depth of 350 m. A ground water well (30 m) is directly adjacent to the injector well. All three wells are located within a major fault zone, with a maximum throw of up to 1,000 m. The configuration of the wells provides a unique, and deep, controlled-release test facility for above-zone leakage monitoring between a potential CO2 storage reservoir and the ground surface.
The monitoring is achieved through a range of bottom-hole sensor technologies installed either permanently or temporarily, including fibre optics for distributed acoustic and distributed temperature sensing, geophones, hydrophones and vertical seismic profiler. At the surface a range of seismic sources, passive seismic arrays, soil gas concentration and flux monitors are complemented by physical surveys and sampling of soil gas and groundwater.
The first test completes at the end of February 2019, when ~40 tonnes food grade CO2 will have been injected into a 6 m perforated interval at a depth of approximately 340 m. Characterisation of the faulted lithology has been conducted on the continuous core recovered from Harvey 2. The establishment of the In-Situ Lab facilities and related work provides a unique platform to demonstrate monitoring methods, fate of CO2 in the shallow subsurface environment, test regulatory expectations and give communities the opportunity to understand impacts of carbon storage projects.
IPCC, 2005 – Bert Metz, Ogunlade Davidson, Heleen de Coninck, Manuela Loos and Leo Meyer (Eds.) Cambridge University Press, UK. pp 431.
Stalker, L and Van Gent, D. 2017. South West Hub CCS Project Research Outcomes 2017. ANLEC R&D Project 7-0314-0225. ISBN: 978-0-646-98477-3 (print); 978-0-646-98603-6 (PDF).