Project

CO2 geological storage

Goal: Exploring for large and safe storage sites worldwide.

Methods: Metodologia di valutazione dell’idoneita di un sito

Date: 1 January 2005

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Project log

Roberto Bencini
added a research item
INTRODUCTION Storage of CO2 and methane in deep saline aquifers is a promising strategy to respectively address mitigation of climate change and energy security regarding additional natural gas demand during cold weather. These themes are attracting growing interest within both scientific and industrial communities. The reservoirs most commonly considered for CO2 and methane storage are the sandy type, often in semi-depleted hydrocarbon fields. Sandy porous reservoir can provide relevant total volumetric capacities although often associated with limited permeabilities. An interesting alternative is given by large and thick, massive carbonates sedimentary bodies (e.g., shallow water carbonate platforms in the peri-Tethys realms), which are usually intensively and pervasively fractured. In this reservoir type, the apparently limited volumetric capacity (due to limited primary and secondary porosity) is compensated by the usually large trap size. At the same time, well connected fracture systems can provide very high permeabilities (i.e. 20-50 Darcy). Therefore, in industrialised areas without enough semi-depleted hydrocarbon fields but where carbonate platforms are well developed, aquifers in fractured carbonate reservoirs are primary targets for CO2 geological sequestration and CH4 seasonal storage. Noteworthy, the high permeabilities provided by extensive fracture systems guarantee significant deliverability which is a key-issue for the commercial viability of storage projects. In CO2 storage, the higher the permeability the less the number of required injection wells. In CH4 projects, the high deliverability is essential to effectively inject and produce gas during the seasonal cycles, while the strong water drive minimize the need of cushion gas. In addition, aquifers are less likely to have suffered the density of drilling associated with depleted hydrocarbon fields and are therefore less prone to the integrity issues of old wells. CASE STUDIES In Italy, several storage projects in fractured carbonate aquifers are underway. A major underground natural gas storage site (Rivara Project) is being planned by ERG Rivara Storage srl (ERS) in a fractured carbonate reservoir in Italy's Po Valley. Rivara's working capacity is estimated at approximately 3.2 billion cubic metres (bcm), which would make it one of largest and potentially best performing gas storage facilities in Italy and in Europe. Moreover, several sites in fractured carbonate aquifers are being evaluated for potential CO2 storage. Major research efforts are in progress to properly characterise these storage sites and to plan their safe operation, including reservoir and caprock stratigraphy and structure, geomechanics, reservoir engineering, geochemical and seismological monitoring. These research activities are carried out by integrated teams involving, among others, industry members (e.g., ERS and Schlumberger) and research institutions (e.g., IGAG-CNR, Sapienza University, and INGV).
Roberto Bencini
added an update
CO2 emission certificates (ETS) price is growing steadly, and it has been over 30 Euro/ton since 10 December 2020.
 
Roberto Bencini
added a research item
The adsorption mechanism of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the coal matrix is significant in practical stability and migration process of CO2 into a coalbed seam. This study presents the kinetic investigation and the main controlling step of CO2 adsorption capacity onto Malaysian coals. The experimental data of CO2 adsorption were determined using a volumetric technique at 273, 298, 308, and 318 K and pressures up to 99.3 kPa. The experimental data of CO2 adsorption was studied using kinetic based thermodynamic models. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and X−Ray Diffraction analyses were performed for the coal samples characterization. The major functional group in all coal samples is hydroxyl (−OH) functional group. X−Ray Diffraction analysis has shown that the coal samples possessed one major peak assigned to quartz (d = 3.348 Å). The experimental results were correlated using kinetic models, which include pseudo−first−order, pseudo−second−order, Avrami, and Intra-particle diffusion models. The Intra−particle diffusion model was found in the best compliance with the experimental data. Therefore, the pore−diffusion is considered to be the primary limiting step for CO2 interaction with the coal matrix. This indicated that the molecules of CO2 transferred rapidly from the bulk to the surface of coal matrix and slowly diffused into pores of the coal matrix. The obtained results demonstrated that the overall CO2 interaction with the coal matrix is influenced by the diffusion limiting step. The value of activation energies for all studied coal samples is lower than 8 kJ/mol. This showed that CO2 adsorption onto all investigated coal samples is driven by a physical adsorption process.
Roberto Bencini
added 2 research items
Carbon dioxide sequestration in unminable coal bed seams has been proposed as an option to mitigate the excessive emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels (coal, crude oil fractions, and natural gas) and increase natural gas production. Through laboratory experiments on CO2 adsorption using a volumetric technique, the effects of subcritical CO2 on coal structure were studied to investigate any alteration of coal textural properties induced after CO2 exposure at low pressure. Coal samples were obtained from the Mukah-Balingian and Merit-Pila coal mines of Sarawak, Malaysia. Adsorption and desorption behaviors of CO2 on dry coals were investigated utilizing a volumetric technique at 273–318 K and pressures up to 99 kPa. Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface areas for the adsorption isotherms of N2 at the temperature of 77 K and P/Po=0.1−0.3 (where P is equilibrium pressure and Po is the saturation vapor pressure of the adsorbate) were determined for the micropores present in the coal matrix. The results of N2 adsorption and desorption isotherms are found to be represented by the Type III equilibrium adsorption, showing a formation of the unlimited multilayer. The CO2 adsorption and desorption isotherms of the four coal samples were not identical. Thus, positive hysteresis was observed between adsorption and desorption of CO2 on all coal samples. The results showed that the CO2 adsorption capacity increases with increases in micropore surface area of the samples and pressure, and it is reduced by an increase in the temperature. Interestingly, meso- and micropore characteristics of the coal samples were only slightly altered after CO2 subcritical exposure. The Langmuir isotherm model presented the best fit with the experimental data. This confirms that the CO2 molecules occupied the surface of the coal sample uniformly and created a monolayer.
In this study, the CO2 adsorption capacity was measured on Malaysian sub-bituminous coals in dry and moisture equilibrated state using volumetric technique to understand its carbon sequestration and storage potential. The CO2 adsorption capacity onto dry and wet coal samples was performed at 300–348K and 6 MPa. Four coal specimens, namely S1, S2, S3 and S4 were analysed by using BET, XRD and FESEM techniques before and after CO2 adsorption. The dry S3 coal showed had the highest CO2 adsorption capacity 1.59 mmolg-1 at 300 K and 6 MPa among all samples. FTIR spectra patterns explain this behaviour as they show an excessive presence of hydroxyl and carboxyl functional groups in wet coal samples. The functional group analysis of all the wet coal samples exposed to CO2 showed significantly declined adsorption relative to their corresponding dry samples. The mineral phases were identified within all fresh and wet exposed coal samples to CO2 through XRD analysis. The S3 coal had the highest selectivity of CO2 over CH4 and N2 gases at pressures up to 6 MPa. The bituminous Malaysian coal has a high affinity to adsorb CO2 in dry and wet conditions.
Roberto Bencini
added a research item
Excessive anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the use of fossil fuels are contributing to global warming and climate changes, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other leading experts. Anthropogenic CO2 is the single largest contributor to rising GHG levels and is responsible for about 64% of global warming. Nevertheless, no science-based forecast of future energy needs suggests that fossil fuels will provide less than 50% of primary energy sources for the next 50 years at least. BP’s latest Energy Outlook points out that improved living standards are distinctly targeted by many governments, and will demand increasing energy consumption, particularly in Asia, Africa and South America. However, as a society we should aim to abate CO2 emissions despite the prospect of a rise in energy consumption. Indeed, all practical methods for limiting and reducing CO2 emissions should be implemented worldwide as a matter of urgency and national priority, including energy saving and efficiency, use of renewable energy sources, reforestation, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The latter, in particular, has the potential to maintain sustainable energy consumption at current levels and improve living conditions globally.
Roberto Bencini
added 2 research items
(this is the full text of the Abstract published by AAPG) Characterization of fracture patterns and quantification of their attributes are crucial in hydrocarbon exploration and production, particularly in the case of carbonate reservoirs. Understanding fracture arrays and evaluating the related contribution to rock permeability is also essential for exploiting geothermal and water resources, as well as storing methane and CO2. Several field and subsurface studies have documented that fault-related folds in carbonate rocks are usually affected by intense but heterogeneous brittle deformations, which are particularly challenging when attempting to quantify and model the physical properties of these structures. In this contribution, results of investigations carried out on the Cingoli anticline, a multilayer carbonate anticline located in the Umbria-Marche region, central Italy, are presented. Our work aims at better constraining the evolution of the fracture systems in the studied fault-related fold, which consists of a mechanically heterogeneous geological sequence. Several exposures, spread homogeneously along the structure and involving two principal mechanical units (i.e., the Scaglia Rossa Formation made of thinly-bedded pelagic limestone and the Calcare Massiccio Formation made of shallow water platform massive limestone), were analyzed in detail. For each fracture system, the type of fracture, angular relationship with beds, orientation, dimensions, aperture, filling and density distribution along several scan-lines and scan-areas have been characterised and quantified. Furthermore, laboratory analyses (i.e., calcimetry, XR diffractometry analysis, thin sections) have been done to define the mineralogical composition of the collected samples. Fluid inclusion analysis has been also completed to obtain information about the environmental conditions during inclusion formation. Our results suggest a conceptual model of fracture nucleation and growth remarkably different for the two formations. Fractures mostly related to flexural slip mechanisms developed in the Scaglia Rossa Formation, whereas the Calcare Massiccio Formation reacted as a massive rigid volume with fracture systems markedly in contrast with the Scaglia Rossa system. This study shows that the evolution of the Cingoli anticline fracture systems depends not only on the structural position along the fold, but also on the mechanical properties of the rock, the deformation evolution, and folding mechanisms.
Storage of Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in deep saline aquifers is a proven technique and a promising strategy to respectively address mitigation of climate change and energy security regarding additional Methane demand during cold weather. These themes are attracting growing interest within both scientific and industrial communities. According to one of the leading scientific research bodies in geosciences in Italy , “Deep saline aquifers offer the largest storage potential of all the geological CO2 storage options, and are widely distributed throughout the Earth.” Moreover, according to the International Gas Union , “The sciences and technologies that UGS (Underground Gas Storage) operators use for Methane storage, specially for aquifers storage, are a solid basis for CO2 sequestration projects.”, highlighting in an authoritative way the strong technical interconnection between these two industrial sectors. The reservoirs most commonly considered for CH4 and CO2 underground storage are the sandy type, often in semi-depleted hydrocarbon fields. Sandy porous reservoir can provide relevant total volumetric capacities although often associated with limited permeabilities. An interesting alternative is given by large and thick, massive carbonates sedimentary bodies (e.g., shallow water carbonate platforms in the peri-Tethys realms), which are usually intensively and pervasively fractured. In this reservoir type, the apparently limited volumetric capacity (due to limited primary and secondary porosity) is compensated by the usually large trap size. At the same time, well connected fracture systems can provide very high permeabilities (i.e. 20-50 Darcy). Therefore, in industrialised areas without enough semi-depleted hydrocarbon fields but where carbonate platform are well developed, aquifers in fractured carbonate reservoirs are primary targets for both CH4 seasonal storage and CO2 geological sequestration. Noteworthy, the high permeabilities provided by extensive fracture systems guarantee significant deliverability which is a key-issue for the commercial viability of storage projects. In CO2 storage, the higher the permeability the less the number of required injection wells. In CH4 projects, the high deliverability is essential to effectively inject and produce gas during the seasonal cycles, while the strong water drive minimize the need of cushion gas. In addition, aquifers are less likely to have suffered the density of drilling associated with depleted hydrocarbon fields and are therefore less prone to the incidents which are typically related to integrity issues at old wells.
Roberto Bencini
added an update
If the ETS CO2 emission certificate price keeps rising during H2 2019 and in 2020 at the same rate of growth seen in 2018 and H1 2019, the CCS market will eventually take off, after a decade of stagnation.
 
Roberto Bencini
added 2 research items
Storage of Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in deep saline aquifers is a proven technique and a promising strategy to respectively address mitigation of climate change and energy security regarding additional Methane demand during cold weather. These themes are attracting growing interest within both scientific and industrial communities. According to one of the leading scientific research bodies in geosciences in Italy “Deep saline aquifers offer the largest storage potential of all the geological CO2 storage options, and are widely distributed throughout the Earth.” Moreover, according to the International Gas Union, “The sciences and technologies that UGS (Underground Gas Storage) operators use for Methane storage, specially for aquifers storage, are a solid basis for CO2 sequestration projects”, highlighting in an authoritative way the strong technical interconnection between these two industrial sectors. In Italy, several storage projects in deep saline aquifers are underway. A major underground Methane storage site (Rivara Project) is being planned in a fractured carbonate reservoir in Italy's Po Valley. Rivara's working capacity is estimated at approximately 3.2 billion cubic meters (bcm), which would make it one of largest and potentially best performing gas storage facilities in Italy and in Europe. Additionally, several sites in naturally fractured carbonate aquifers are being evaluated for potential CO2 storage, among which a site offshore under the continental platform of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Major efforts are in progress to properly characterize these storage sites and to plan their safe operation ahead of the beginning of the construction phase, including reservoir and caprock stratigraphy and structure, geomechanics, reservoir engineering, geochemical and seismological monitoring. An innovative, multidisciplinary and integrated work flow has been identified to document the suitability of these sites. The work program is designed to determine the feasibility and the safety of the gas storage project, either CH4 or CO2. This includes two main phases, namely an Initial Phase, followed by the Appraisal Phase, which repeats the cycle in more details. Each phase involves the following integrated sequential stages: • Analysis of pre-existing data (wells, seismics, subsurface data, seismological data); • 3D geologic modeling; • 3D reservoir modeling; • 3D geomechanic modeling. The Initial Phase involves all the data gathering activities that can be implemented without a specific license, while during the Appraisal Phase the activities include the acquisition of geophysical data and the drilling of wells, which require specific ministerial authorization and license. The key elements of the Appraisal Phase, in fact, are the acquisition of a new 3D reflection seismic campaign and the drilling of the necessary appraisal wells with the associated specialized activities (cores, logs, reservoir test). Before the beginning of the construction phase, it is also important to implement a multidisciplinary monitoring program ante-operam, in order to have the basic elements for detecting any change that may occur after the beginning of the site operations. While underground Methane storage (UGS) activities are fully regulated in Italy, and an aquifer specific European Standard (UNI-EN-1918-1) exists, underground storage of CO2 is not yet currently regulated. Italy is however about to adopt European Directive 2009/31/CE of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide.
Storage of Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in deep saline aquifers is a proven technique and a promising strategy to respectively address mitigation of climate change and energy security regarding additional Methane demand during cold weather. An innovative, multidisciplinary and integrated work flow has been identified to document the suitability of these sites. The work program is designed to determine the feasibility and the safety of the gas storage project, either CH4 or CO2. This includes two main phases, namely an Initial Phase, followed by the Appraisal Phase, which repeats the cycle in more details. Each phase involves the following integrated sequential stages: • Analysis of pre-existing data (wells, seismics, subsurface data, seismological data); • 3D geologic modeling; • 3D reservoir modeling; • 3D geomechanic modeling. The Initial Phase involves all the data gathering activities that can be implemented without a specific license, while during the Appraisal Phase the activities include the acquisition of geophysical data and the drilling of wells, which require specific ministerial authorization and license. The key elements of the Appraisal Phase, in fact, are the acquisition of a new 3D reflection seismic campaign and the drilling of the necessary appraisal wells with the associated specialized activities (cores, logs, reservoir test). Before the beginning of the construction phase, it is also important to implement a multidisciplinary monitoring program ante-operam, in order to have the basic elements for detecting any change that may occur after the beginning of the site operations.
Roberto Bencini
added an update
The CO2 emission permit price remains depressed, below the threshold that would stimulate the CO2 storage industry.
 
Roberto Bencini
added a research item
The top of the Carbonate Reservoir found by the Matilde-1 well has been mapped on the basis of the public domain Zone "E" reconnaissance 2D reflection seismic profiles.
Roberto Bencini
added a research item
È stata messa a punto una metodologia integrata di valutazione dell’idoneità di siti di stoccaggio sotterraneo di gas naturale in acquifero salino profondo. La metodologia prevede due fasi successive: in primo luogo la sintesi dei dati e conoscenze disponibili per il sito proposto con esclusione dei dati acquisibili esclusivamente mediante nuove prospezioni o nuovi pozzi che richiedano specifica autorizzazione di natura mineraria, e in secondo luogo l’accertamento delle conoscenze raggiunte nella prima fase mediante l’esecuzione di misure e prospezioni specifiche che richiedono autorizzazione mineraria a livello ministeriale. La metodologia è focalizzata sulla documentazione di tutti gli aspetti che determinano l’idoneità e la sicurezza del sito di stoccaggio proposto, cioè l’idoneità e la sicurezza della roccia serbatoio e della roccia di copertura, anche in considerazione della sismicità naturale presente nella zona prescelta e della possibile sismicità indotta dalle operazioni di stoccaggio sotterraneo del gas naturale (iniezione ed estrazione ciclica). Per la valutazione si utilizzano tutti i dati disponibili, al fine di garantire la sicurezza del progetto a tutti gli stakeholders, operatori industriali, autorità concedenti e di controllo, enti locali e pubblico. La metodologia è applicabile anche per valutare l’idoneità di siti di stoccaggio derivanti dalla conversione di ex-giacimenti da gas naturale. (note: for some strange reason, the full text of this article is reacheable at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258782746_Monitoring_underground_gas_storage_for_seismic_risk_assessment )
Roberto Bencini
added a research item
Allegato 5 - Struttura di "Cornelia": Top Scaglia Calcarea, Carta in profondità (metri s.l.m.)
Roberto Bencini
added 4 research items
L’Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) è l’istituzione italiana di riferimento per quello che riguarda il rischio sismico ed il rischio vulcanico e/o il rischio da processi di degassamento terrestri sia di origine naturale che antropogenica (stoccaggio gas CO2 e CH4), tramite reti di monitoraggio e sorveglianza, anche H24, su tutto il territorio nazionale e tramite studi di sito nella maggior parte delle aree a rischio del paese. Inoltre l’INGV, soprattutto nella Sezione di Sismologia e Tettono-fisica di Roma è da anni impegnato nella comprensione delle relazioni tra fluidi sotterranei e sismicità e dei complessi processi di interazione acqua-roccia in ambienti geologici ricchi in CO2. Nell’ambito degli studi di “stoccaggio geologico della CO2”, le aree con presenza naturale di CO2 sono definite “CO2 analogues”: l’Italia è in Europa il paese più ricco di CO2 in profondità (aree di faglia, aree vulcaniche, aree geotermiche, zone di fatturazione, ed è su queste che INGV da sempre ha concentrato le sue attenzioni scientifiche. Per queste sue storiche ed intrinseche capacità scientifiche ed organizzative, sin dal 2000 l’INGV è stato invitato a partecipare al più imponente progetto scientifico internazionale (IEA-EU) di “stoccaggio geologico della CO2”, presso il campo petrolifero di Weyburn in Canada, di cui si descrivono qui i principali obiettivi e risultati, soprattutto quelli ottenuti per la parte di geochimica dei fluidi (Lab. Geochimica dei Fluidi, Sez. Roma 1). Hanno fatto seguito il Progetto ECBM Sulcis (Enhanced Coal Bed Methane) in Sardegna ed altri studi di sito italiani.
Roberto Bencini
added 2 research items
Allegato 8 - Rappresentazione 3D della struttura di "Cornelia" con limiti del permesso. (view from above)
Allegato 9 - Sezione geo-sismica del complesso di stoccaggio "Cornelia".
Roberto Bencini
added an update
The first practical fruit of this ongoing project has been the discovery of a large and safe potential CO2 geological storage site offshore the East coast of Italy, at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the coast and from existing or planned environmentally protected sites.
The study of the characteristics of the proposed site has been conducted in co-operation with the Italian National Center of Research (CNR), IGAG section, Rome (Italy).
The appraisal programme for this site has been designed in accordance with the European Directive 2009/31/CE dated 23 April 2009, implemented into the Italian Legislation by Legislative Decree 14 September 2011, n. 162 - titled "Attuazione della direttiva 2009/31/CE in materia di stoccaggio geologico del biossido di carbonio", published on the Gazzetta Ufficiale of the Italian Republic on 4 October 2011.
The application for a research permit for the appraisal of this structure has been filed with the Ministry of Economic Development on 31 October 2011, and published on the Official Bulletin of Hydrocarbons and Geo-resources (BUIG) on 31 January 2012 (see page http://unmig.sviluppoeconomico.gov.it/dgsaie/istanze/dettaglio.asp?cod=489&numerofasi=6).
The application for the environmental approval of the appraisal phase has been filed with the Ministry of Environment on 17 July 2012, and the relative Ministerial Decree is dated 10 December 2013 (see page http://www.va.minambiente.it/it-IT/Oggetti/Documentazione/1011/1293?pagina=2#form-cercaDocumentazione). This link leads to a four-pages long list of technical, geological and administrative documents relative to the project, and their maps, drawings, appendices and attachments.
In particular, the geological report (in Italian) relative to the appraisal project is available at the link http://www.va.minambiente.it/File/Documento/59463 .
 
Roberto Bencini
added a project goal
Exploring for large and safe storage sites worldwide.