Research into the possibilities for storing CO2 in the subsurface as well as for enhanced oil recovery from the North Sea using CO2.
Emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas can lead to a number of undesired changes to the Earth's climate. Capture and underground storage of CO2 is one of the methods which can be used to limit emissions of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.
GEUS’ activities in brief
For several years now, GEUS has been participating in numerous research projects, the purpose of which is to map the opportunities for geological storage of CO2. The majority of this work has taken place for many years at European level focusing on the CCS technology (Carbon Capture & Storage).
One of the projects headed by GEUS has established a solid foundation for assessing the use of CCS as a method of reducing CO2 emissions for all of Europe. The results include development of a standard for how to assess the storage capacity of underground reservoirs, and a GIS database of large CO2 sources and storage sites in 25 European countries.
Knowledge from the research projects will be brought into play in international fora in which GEUS is represented. One of these is CO2GeoNet, a European ‘Network of Excellence’ which aims at enhancing Europe’s scientific and technological position within CO2 storage by gathering resources and expertise.
GEUS’ research includes studies of the possibility for enhancing oil recovery in the North Sea by injecting CO2 into the oil reservoirs. This work includes the use of advanced laboratory facilities in which geologists reproduce the physical conditions in the North Sea reservoirs.
In order to store CO2 in the subsurface, the CO2 must be separated from the flue gas or the fuel, and suitable geological formations in the subsurface must be located where the separated CO2 can be safely stored. The storage location could be deep-lying, porous geological layers; e.g. sandstone or chalk layers. So as to prevent the CO2 from moving up through the superjacent layers and being released into the atmosphere, the storage also has to be sealed with a layer with low permeability, e.g. a layer of clay. Geological storage of CO2 is possible today and is already taking place in the North Sea as well as in North America.