The impact of water on CO2 leak rate measurements for CCS projects

Myers, Matt and Roberts, Jennifer J. and White, Cameron and Stalker, Linda (2019) The impact of water on CO2 leak rate measurements for CCS projects. In: 14th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, 2018-10-21 - 2018-10-26.

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    Chemical tracers are a promising technique to detect, attribute and quantify CO2 leakage from geological CO2 stores. Indeed, CO2 release experiments have found it difficult to ascertain the fate, or quantify the volume of CO2 without the application of tracers. However, a significant proportion of global CO2 storage capacity is located offshore, and the marine environment poses constraints that could limit the success of using tracers. These constraints include uncertainties in the behaviour of tracers in marine sediments and the water column and sampling challenges. To model some of these challenges, we used a benchtop experimental setup to explore how well methane, a common constituent of captured CO2 and of reservoir fluids, could aid the quantitation of CO2 leakage in aqueous environments. The experiment simulated gas leakage into sediments that mimic the seabed, and we measured the partitioning of co-released gases under different environmental conditions and injection rates. We find that the style of seepage and the fate of the CO2 are affected by the presence of a sand layer and the injection rate. This has implications for leak monitoring approaches, including how tracers may be used to quantify the leak rates and fate of CO2 in aqueous environments.