CO2 storage monitoring: leakage detection and measurement in subsurface volumes from 3D seismic data at Sleipner

Chadwick, R. Andrew; Marchant, Benjamin P.; Williams, Gareth A.. 2014 CO2 storage monitoring: leakage detection and measurement in subsurface volumes from 3D seismic data at Sleipner. Energy Procedia, 63. 4224-4239.

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Demonstrating secure containment is a key plank of CO2 storage monitoring. Here we use the time-lapse 3D seismic surveys at the Sleipner CO2 storage site to assess their ability to provide robust and uniform three-dimensional spatial surveillance of the Storage Complex and provide a quantitative leakage detection tool. We develop a spatial-spectral methodology to determine the actual detection limits of the datasets which takes into account both the reflectivity of a thin CO2 layer and also its lateral extent. Using a tuning relationship to convert reflectivity to layer thickness, preliminary analysis indicates that, at the top of the Utsira reservoir, CO2 accumulations with pore volumes greater than about 3000 m3 should be robustly detectable for layer thicknesses greater than one metre, which will generally be the case. Making the conservative assumption of full CO2 saturation, this pore volume corresponds to a CO2 mass detection threshold of around 2100 tonnes. Within the overburden, at shallower depths, CO2 becomes progressively more reflective, less dense, and correspondingly more detectable, as it passes from the dense phase into a gaseous state. Our preliminary analysis indicates that the detection threshold falls to around 950 tonnes of CO2 at 590 m depth, and to around 315 tonnes at 490 m depth, where repeatability noise levels are particularly low. Detection capability can be equated to the maximum allowable leakage rate consistent with a storage site meeting its greenhouse gas emissions mitigation objective. A number of studies have suggested that leakage rates around 0.01% per year or less would ensure effective mitigation performance. So for a hypothetical large-scale storage project, the detection capability of the Sleipner seismics would far exceed that required to demonstrate the effective mitigation leakage limit. More generally it is likely that well-designed 3D seismic monitoring systems will have robust 3D detection capability significantly superior to what is required to prove greenhouse gas mitigation efficacy.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 18766102
Date made live: 06 Jan 2015 13:51 +0 (UTC)

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