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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.

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