Assuring Integrity of CO2 Storage Sites Through Ground Surface Monitoring (SENSE)
10 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 3, 2021
Monitoring of geological CO2 storage is crucial for large-scale injection to gain public acceptance. Monitoring plans for large-scale operations need to include both the injection and post-injection phases to assure CO2 is safely stored permanently. The SENSE project aims to develop reliable, continuous, and cost-efficient monitoring based on ground movement detection combined with geomechanical modeling and inversion, utilizing new technology developments, data processing optimization, and interpretation algorithms. The proposed research activities include:
• demonstration of continuous monitoring of surface deformation and subsurface pressure distribution using satellite data, water pressure sensors and fiber optics;
• quantitative characterization of critical geomechanical and hydraulic parameters and automatization routine for data processing and interpretation;
• optimization of sampling arrays in order to offer storage site operators a cost-effective monitoring option as part of an effective site assurance program.
The SENSE project brings together experts from 14 international institutions of nine different countries to solve challenges in CO2 storage site monitoring and to provide solutions for safe and successful injection and post-closure phases of site operation. The project is organized in five Work Packages (WPs); WP1: Quantification of ground movement, WP2: Geomechanical modeling and rock strain assessment, WP3: History matching inversion and coupled flow-mechanics, WP4: Integration of results for cost-effective monitoring and WP5: Project management. The ultimate goal of SENSE is to offer storage site operators a cost-effective monitoring option that can form part of an effective site assurance/monitoring program and feed into workflows for an early alert system to detect unexpected changes in the subsurface.
The SENSE project has four demonstration sites for monitoring technologies and developing concepts and procedures. These sites are both onshore and offshore. The onshore sites include In Salah (Algeria) and Hotfield Moors (UK). For these sites, the project will use satellite data to explore the response of the surface to pressure changes in the subsurface. Algorithms for automatic satellite data processing to facilitate quick access to ground elevation data for site operators are under development at the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI). The offshore sites include Bay of Mecklenburg (Germany) and the Gulf of Mexico (USA). In addition, the SENSE partners have requested access to data from the Troll Gas Field, the North Sea, to study its subsidence due to production-related pressure reduction. The Troll Gas Field is located next to the storage site considered for the Norwegian Long Ship project, and its data will provide a good understanding of the geomechanics of the area.
In this paper, we present the work on the In Salah and the Bay of Mecklenburg sites. New InSAR data from the In Salah are used to evaluate the ground movement during the post-injection period and thus to assess the behaviour of the storage site after completion of the injection phase. Bay of Mecklenburg is an offshore site for field experiment to inject a gas underground, build-up pressure, uplift the seafloor and measure the resulted uplift. The first field campaign at the Bay of Mecklenburg was completed in late 2019. It provided both gravity cores from the seabed and geophysical data acquisition for characterizing the shallow subsurface layers. The gravity cores were characterized for physical and mechanical properties. The material properties were used for simulating injection and response of the seafloor to induced pressure. Geomechanical 2D and 3D simulations show that the reservoir may sustain very low overpressure before it fails. Hence, this magnitude of overpressure may create a seafloor uplift of about a few millimeters to a couple of centimeters. The monitoring techniques are therefore being designed to capture uplift in this order of magnitude during the injection operation.
Keywords: CO2 storage monitoring; Fiber optics; Geomechanics; InSAR; Offshore monitoring; Seafloor deformation; SENSE-ACT; Uplift
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