CO2 has become the symbol of human consumption and industrial production. The gas
that pours out of cement factory chimneys and belches out of exhaust pipes and combustion
plants is the reason behind the biggest environmental challenge of our age.
(December 17, 2015) “If we want to inject gas underground or beneath the sea bed, we will have to monitor what happens to it. We have to be entirely sure that it stays where it’s supposed to”.
So says SINTEF researcher Peder Eliasson. He and his colleagues in their office building opposite Lerkendal Stadium, are analysing seismic and electromagnetic data taken from the CO2 sequestration reservoir below the sea bed at the Sleipner field in the North Sea.
“But how can we be sure that the gas will stay where it’s supposed to”?
“By interpreting geophysical data. During seismic surveys, we send down acoustic signals that are then reflected back, enabling us to determine distances and dimensions on the basis of the echoes. We then use these to determine the location and extent of the gas. What we do is compare the seismic data before and after injection”, says Eliasson.
He says that there are many centres around the world studying data from various CO2 storage reservoirs, because it is important to learn how to make the best possible use of this information. He maintains that certainty is the key factor in CO2 sequestration. The risk of leaks is very small, but this has to documented very accurately. Measurement equipment must be robust and not too expensive, and the data must be accurate. It must also be possible to customise the analyses.
Climate change challenge
CO2 has become the symbol of human consumption and industrial production. The gas that pours out of cement factory chimneys and belches out of exhaust pipes and combustion plants is the reason behind the biggest environmental challenge of our age.
This is why researchers all over the world are working to find sound ways of capturing CO2 and pumping it beneath the surface of the earth, where it can remain safely stored away for thousands of years.