CO2ReMoVe Closing Conference

The closing conference of CO2ReMoVe, an EU project on CO2 storage, was held in Paris on the 29th February 2012. The six-year project involved over 30 partners from research and industry organisations in Europe and beyond. A key conclusion is that results from all the sites indicate that underground CO2 storage can be carried out safely, with CO2 effectively contained in all storage projects studied. Operational irregularities, such as a small leakage from an old well, have not led to concerns about storage safety or permanence.

CO2ReMoVe has given researchers valuable access to proprietary data on operational geological storage sites so independent analysis could be done on the effectiveness of performance prediction (will the CO2 remain in the reservoir?), monitoring tools (how to track the movement of CO2?) and risk assessment methodologies. Globally, four large-scale and several smaller CO2 storage projects are on-going in Norway, Algeria, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany. The CO2ReMoVe project has made use of these existing storage sites to put geological storage to the test.

The researchers focussed on developing, combining and testing tools for performance prediction, risk assessment and monitoring for verification. The partners in the project have developed combinations of comprehensive sets of monitoring tools so the cost-effectiveness and reliability of monitoring could be improved. Insights were also gained on predictability of site performance. Modelling uncertainties for site performance arise from a combination of geological variability, incomplete or imperfect datasets, imperfect understanding of processes and subjectivity in expert judgement. It is clear that as the first monitoring results at a site become available, modelling uncertainties are reduced significantly and prediction becomes much more robust.

The CO2ReMoVe project confirms that performance prediction before CO2 is injected gives an initial but incomplete picture that has to be adjusted in the light of monitoring datasets. After this step, the match between models and monitoring becomes increasingly reliable.

The CO2ReMoVe project has also connected the findings on performance prediction and monitoring with risk assessment methodologies in an integrated decision support tool developed by Quintessa. The tool allows for inclusion of confidence and uncertainty levels, for input of performance assessment, monitoring and verification results, and at the same time provides information for an audit trail. The risk assessment tool also allows for engaging experts and local stakeholders, which is important for responding to new information and local concerns.

Image courtesy of In Salah Gas