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Paul Jensen (ALS Laboratory group), Nick Hudson (CTSCo) and Katherine Romanak (BEG) stand beside one of the soil gas stations being used for real-time environmental monitoring at the Surat Basin CCS demonstration site. The project is upscaling and improving on Romanak’s initial design for using commercially available sensors for real-time data collection at CO2 geological storage sites. (e.g. Romanak et al., 2014, Energy Procedia 63 ( 2014 ) 4027 – 4030; Romanak et.al., 2015, Chapter 38, in Gerdes, K. F., ed., Carbon dioxide capture for storage in deep geological formations–results from the CO2 Capture Project, Volume 4: CCS Technology Development and Demonstration Results (2009-2014): UK, CPL Press and BP, p. 705-732.)

From February 24- March 7, 2017,  Katherine Romanak travelled to Queensland Australia to provide expertise and conduct research in environmental monitoring for the  Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation Pty Ltd (CTSCo) Surat CCS demonstration projectThe project is designed to demonstrate the technical viability, integration and safe operation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Surat Basin. Currently in the feasibility study stage, the project is undergoing assessments and approvals in environmental, social and technical aspects, under the relevant government regulation.)

Romanak’s research project is funded by the Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research and Development Ltd (ANLEC R&D) on behalf of the Australian coal industry and the Australian Commonwealth government. This project will support compliance with environmental requirements for Monitoring and Verification (M&V), including early communication with CTSCo Surat Basin Project stakeholders. The research will help to define a way forward for environmental monitoring at the CTSCo Surat Basin project site and ultimately at project sites within other Australian sedimentary basins.

The hypothesis being tested is that simple soil gas ratios can be used for real-time accurate environmental signal attribution, even in hydrocarbon-rich environments. Also being tested is the degree to which isotopes can be used for signal attribution. This research will give an indication of the most useful methods for environmental compliance and near-surface (M&V) at the CTSCo Surat CCS demonstration project and beyond.
  • The Gulf Coasmarakesht Carbon Center will host the only official UNFCCC side event devoted entirely to CCS at COP-22 in Marrakech, Morocco November 7-18, 2016. The event is hosted in collaboration with IEAGHG, Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), and CO2GeoNet, and will focus on “Opportunities for Africa in Carbon Capture and Storage”.

    In addition to Katherine Romanak from the GCCC, Tim Dixon from IEAGHG, and Ton Wildenborg from CO2GeoNet, speakers will include Mike Monea from the newly-formed International CCS Knowledge Centre (an initiative of BHP Billiton and SaskPower), Felicia Chinwe Mogo from Nigeria, Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu from Ghana, and Tony Surridge from South Africa.

    The side event aims to show that CCS is a demonstrated technology for achieving emission reductions under the Paris Agreement. Progress towards CCS deployment in Africa and global CCS developments relevant for Africa, onshore and offshore will be presented. Steps for CCS pilot project development and new opportunities for technology transfer will be outlined.

    The side event will be held Tuesday November 8 from 11:30-13:00 UTC in the Mediterranean room for those attending the COP. For those who are not attending, the session can be viewed in real-time (local standard Morocco time) by using this link.

     

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    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.

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    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.