University of Texas at Austin

Romanak Tests CCS Monitoring Method at Australian Project

April 29, 2017
Katherine Romanak

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 (Romanak et al., 2014, 2015).

Earlier this spring, the Bureau’s Katherine Romanak travelled to Queensland, Australia, to provide expertise and conduct research in environmental monitoring for the Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation Pty. Ltd. Surat CCS Demonstration Project. The project is designed to demonstrate the technical viability, integration and safe operation of carbon capture and storage in the Surat Basin. Currently in the preliminary stages, the project is undergoing assessments and approvals in environmental, social and technical aspects under various government regulations. Romanak’s research project is funded by the Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research and Development Ltd. 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 project stakeholders. The research will help to define a process for environmental monitoring at the 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 Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation Pty Ltd. Surat CCS Demonstration Project and beyond.