Carbon Capture and Storage
CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) is the only greenhouse gas mitigation technology capable of realistically tackling the current anthropogenic CO2 emissions and ameliorating the current rate of global warming. Terrestrial and offshore storage of CO2 in depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers are the preferred options for most European nations including the United Kingdom, while in the United States, the number of enhanced oil recovery with CCS (EOR-CCS) projects has substantially increased in the last decade (see map). Since the early days of CCS, a number of experimental and numerical studies have been conducted to better understand the coupled Thermal, Hydrological, Mechanical, Chemical phenomena (THMCs) that may occur in the reservoir during CO2 injection - with the potential of altering its geomechanical integrity and, ultimately, leading to risks associated with induced seismicity and CO2-leakage to surface. However, very little consideration has been given to the post-closure stage, regarding the hydromechanical behaviour of storage reservoirs after CCS.
Geomechanical Assessment of CO2 Storage Reservoir Integrity Post-closure (Grant NE/R013535/1, GASRIP) is a project primarily designed to study how CO2-brine induced-salt precipitation/dissolution affects geomechanical integrity of CO2 storage reservoirs. By looking at changes in the elastic, mechanical and transport properties of natural sandstones in the laboratory, GASRIP will assess variations in the mechanical properties in saline siliciclastic reservoirs post-CO2 injection.
The major objective of this project is to fill the lack of research regarding the geomechanical integrity of CCS and EOR-CCS post-closure, by identifying the derived THMC phenomena from a comprehensive laboratory programme and state-of-the-art data analysis and interpretation. GASRIP is designed to provide tools for risk assessment and development strategies for CCS and EOR-CCS projects, through the understanding and control of salt weathering mechanisms in CO2 storage saline aquifers.