World’s first direct verification of geologic sequestration of greenhouse gas opens door for carbon sequestration efforts to proceed with greater confidence
27 June 2018 (Laramie, WY, USA) – WellDog, Virginia Tech and Carbon GeoCycle announced today that they have collaborated to deliver the world’s first successful direct verification of carbon dioxide sequestered in an underground rock.
The verification, made using WellDog’s proprietary Reservoir Raman System, reveals that carbon dioxide injected over the last two years successfully flowed into all of the targeted coal seams. The US$15.5MM sequestration project is located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The project is funded by the US Department of Energy, Virginia Tech, and private industry.
The test involves injecting over 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide into stacked unmineable coal seams at depths of 900 to 2,000 feet with the goal of storing carbon dioxide while simultaneously enhancing natural gas recovery.
“Carbon sequestration in geologic formations is our best way to slow and reverse climate change,” said John M. Pope, Ph.D., chief executive officer of WellDog. “But understanding how, where and for how long sequestration occurs in rocks thousands of feet below ground is difficult.”
“In this project the carbon dioxide flowed into the wellbore, but until we took direct downhole measurements in each coal seam, significant uncertainty persisted regarding which coal seams the carbon dioxide had sequestered,” explained Pope. “We are pleased that WellDog’s technical services and Carbon GeoCycle’s sequestration expertise were able to help Virginia Tech’s experts confirm that all of the coal seams took up carbon dioxide. This result represents an important step for sequestration efforts worldwide.”
“Results from the test are very promising,” said Nino Ripepi, Ph.D., associate professor of mining and minerals engineering at Virginia Tech and a manager of the project. “We have shown that coal seams can safely store carbon dioxide while at the same time enhancing gas. This is one of the first steps toward commercialization of these technologies.”
More information on the project scope is available at https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2011/07/072011-engineering-carbondioxideintostorage.html and at https://www.energy.gov/fe/articles/underground-co2-storage-natural-gas-recovery-targeted-virginia-technetl-research.
More information on the project results is available at https://energy.vt.edu/news/buchanan_co2_storage_project_results_discussed.html.
Research partners in the project included Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, Virginia Tech; Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory; Marshall Miller & Associates; Southern States Energy Board; CONSOL Energy; Geological Survey of Alabama; Sandia Technologies; Det Norske Veritas; WellDog; and Carbon GeoCycle.
The verification methods used by the partners included WellDog’s unique downhole geochemical Reservoir Raman System, in which a full spectrum chemical analyzer and other sensors are lowered into a wellbore and used to identify directly and unambiguously the types and amounts of liquids and gases it contains. By watching those liquids and gases flow over time and at various depths, the system enabled direct confirmation of carbon dioxide flows into and out of rock formations.
The technology has been used extensively to address key downhole challenges including finding natural gas and other gases occurring naturally in underground formations (for example, see https://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-115/issue-1/drilling-production/shell-uses-raman-spectrometer-to-evaluate-marcellus-gas.html) and evaluating unintended byproducts of carbon dioxide injection in underground formations (for example, see http://anlecrd.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/7-0314-0229-Milestone-2_2-Report.pdf).
ABOUT WellDog: WellDog is a global technical services company that uses innovation to drive sustainability in the oil, gas and mining industries. The company’s aim is to assist in improving economic quality of life without reducing environmental quality of life. For more information, visit www.welldog.com.
ABOUT Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing students to be leaders and problem-solvers. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 34,000 students and manages a research portfolio of more than $521 million. The university fulfills its role as a land-grant by fostering a collaborative environment that integrates technology into all disciplines, so that the Virginia Tech community can serve as a force for positive change around the commonwealth, the country, and the world.
ABOUT Carbon GeoCycle: Carbon GeoCycle focuses on combining field operations best practices with lean business and technical innovations to deliver practical carbon capture and sequestration results. For more information, visit www.carbongeocycle.com.