The R/V Brooks-McCall, approximately 50 m in length, tows the P-cable system in October 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of TDI-Brooks International.

The Gulf Coast Carbon Center is delighted to have received funding for a new project that will improve monitoring of carbon storage in offshore reservoirs. Tip Meckel is the PI on a $2.5 M award under DOE’s Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration Crosscut initiative to deploy and validate a novel, ultrahigh resolution 3D marine seismic technology at the Tomakomai carbon storage site in Japan.

The technology, known as the P-cable because it is towed perpendicular to the direction of a ship’s track, has been used successfully off of the Texas coast to evaluate and characterize storage units with exceptional spatial resolution. Trailing long streamers equipped with seismic receivers in tight formation, the P-cable provides high resolution 3D seismic imagery in a region extending from the seafloor down to about 1500 meters. The detailed data can be used to infer the history of fluid migration, which is key to ensuring that carbon dioxide is stored where it will not leak. The effort was performed as part of the GCCC’s Offshore Miocene Project.

Schematic of the P-cable system

With the new funding, the P-cable will be used to evaluate storage units at the Tomakomai Site, a fully developed carbon capture and storage project offshore from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The project seeks to test feasibility, and if favorable, deploy the P-cable to demonstrate significantly improved spatial resolution and accuracy over a commercially meaningful offshore area. Such high-quality and high-resolution data should decrease both cost and uncertainty in measurements supporting monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) in the subsea environment.

“This is  an excellent method for GCCC and the US program to advance our expertise in storage in the near-offshore setting via international collaboration with the unique project in Japan,” said Susan Hovorka, GCCC’s Primary Investigator.

  • The Gulf Coast Carbon Center was delighted to host the first International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage. GCCC’s Katherine Romanak was instrumental in organizing the workshop with IEAGHG’s Tim Dixon, who is currently an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at BEG.

    Dixon emphasized the value of bringing together an international contingent to discuss carbon storage in offshore reservoirs. “Over 50 experts from 13 countries came together in a common recognition that there is a nexus of interests and needs converging in progressing CCS offshore, and that momentum is being created towards international collaborations not just in knowledge-sharing but towards pilot and demonstration projects.”

    GCCCC Workshop Group_2016-2


    The workshop evolved as an outgrowth of BEG’s interaction with the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and IEAGHG. In addition, Tony Surridge from the South African National Energy Development Institute was a co-host.

    IMG_5411The workshop made a notable historical mark as the first carbon sequestration-related effort to take advantage of the new financial instruments provided by the United Nation’s Climate Technology Centre &  Network, which provided Funding for Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu from Ghana and Felicia Mogo from Nigeria to attend.

    The aim of the workshop was to develop the first global needs assessment for offshore carbon storage. Its goals included initiating a discussion about the various aspects of offshore transport and storage; building an international community of parties interested in offshore storage; and facilitating countries to identify their specific issues, challenges, and opportunities.

    IMG_5403Topics of interest identified by the attendees included transitioning from pilot project to full-scale deployment; funding and finance; accelerating knowledge and technology transfer; regulatory development; infrastructure; and public engagement. Participants identified and defined synergies, common gaps, and goals in each of these areas, and action items, including future workshops and potential projects, were developed.

    The workshop included two days of keynote addresses, presentations by individual countries, and collaborative discussion. The attendees also took part in a half day Expo that included a tour of a pilot capture facility, a visit to the Bureau of Economic Geology’s core repository, demonstrations, and a poster session.

    IMG_5414-1Summarizing the importance of the workshop, GCCC’s Tip Meckel explained, “this is the first time that we’ve ever had so much international diversity and experience all sitting down with the common goal of figuring out how we can work together to make offshore CCS work. You can either dip your toe into the offshore or take a deep dive. This was a deep dive.”


    For a complete report of the workshop, please click here.












  • Tim-Dixon_crop
    Tim Dixon will help develop offshore CCS workshop.

    GCCC is thrilled to host Tim Dixon as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow this year. When making the appointment BEG’s Director Scott Tinker recognized Tim’s “experience developing and managing CCS R&D technology transfer projects through IEAGHG workshops, status in the international CCS community, and ongoing support and collaboration with the Gulf Coast Carbon Center.”

    Tim is the Manager of the Technical Programme of the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG). Part of his role is providing technical support for regulatory and policy developments for CCS. He oversees the Research Networks on Risk Assessment, Monitoring, Environmental Impacts and Social Science and related technical studies, the IEAGHG International Summer School, and provides technical input to the UNFCCC, ISO, and the London Convention.

    During his tenure at IEAGHG and aided by his efforts, CCS was adopted as a climate change mitigation technology under the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism in 2011. Tim and GCCC’s Susan Hovorka serve together on the Technical Program Committee for the Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT), the long-running and prestigious international conference on greenhouse gas mitigation technology.

    One of the significant outcomes of Tim’s Fellowship at BEG will be a workshop focusing on identifying technical barriers and R&D opportunities for offshore, geologic storage of carbon dioxide. The workshop has now been scheduled for April 19-21 at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, in partnership with the South African National Energy Development Institute and the IEAGHG and with support from the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum in Austin, Texas.

    Katherine Romanak is working closely with Tim to develop the workshop. She said, “We are lucky to have Tim at GCCC. He is an internationally-recognized facilitator in the area of CCS, catalyzing technical collaboration and informing policy at high levels.”

    Tim attended the university-wide CCS sponsors conference held last week in Austin. He recorded his impressions in this blog published by the IEAGHG.