While the Sleipner operation is an important example of CCS in practice, it is not large enough to play any significant role in the context of European emissions reductions. Below, we demonstrate how we can use the functionality of the Numerical CO2 Laboratory to design and assess an 'optimal' large-scale CO2 storage scenario for the Utsira Formation. In the simulated scenario, more than 1.5 gigatonnes of CO2 is ultimately injected and safely contained within the formation.
A key assumption in this study is that the aquifer is completely open, with free flow of fluids across its boundaries. As such, the limiting factor will not be pressure buildup, but the ability of the aquifer to retain injected CO2 in the long run. The total trapping capacity of Utsira is estimated here.
Structural traps and spill path system defined by the Utsira caprock (click on the image for a larger version).
Location of the ten injector sites chosen by the algorithm (click on the image for a larger version).
Diagram showing injection rates for each of the 10 wells, before (blue) and after (red) nonlinear optimization (click on the image for a larger version).
Maximum induced overpressure resulting from injection (click on image for a larger version).
Trapping distribution of injected CO2 as a function of time for the simulated scenario (click on the image for a larger version).
Snapshot of the simulated aquifer domain, for selected timesteps (click on the image for a larger version).
Published October 20, 2014