In the latest PTRC news-letter the Saskatchewan based research organisation announced that the week of 13th – 16th March marked the fourth seismic imaging run conducted over the Aquistore site. This technique is an integral part of the sites’s monitoring and measurement programme. Since injection began in 2015 over 140,000 tonnes have been stored.
The underlying Deadwood Formation beneath the Aquistore extends across southern Saskatchewan and into the province of Alberta. Its storage capacity has been estimated in gigatonnes. For Aquistore the monitoring, measurement and verification (MMV) at the site is primarily to provide assurance of conformance with modelled predictions of CO2 migration and containment. This includes groundwater and soil gas sampling, seismic imaging of the CO2 plume and surrounding formation, and various other deep sub-surface and near surface MMV.
During the March shoot, 400 shot points (small explosive charges) were set off during two days and the wave data collected at the surface from the 650-geophone permanent array at the site. Other seismic measuring technologies, and fibre optic lines, were deployed down the observation and injection wells to record seismic images. Data processing will take place over the next two months to create new images of CO2 within the reservoir. Initial baseline seismic profiles can be compared with periodic repeat surveys to track the presence of CO2 within the designated reservoir.
Aquistore is located near the community of Estevan, in southern Saskatchewan. CO2 is delivered via a 2 km pipeline from the nearby Boundary Dam Power Station – the location of the world’s first commercial scale post-combustion capture of CO2 from coal fired power generation. Although most of the 1 million tonne per year of CO2 captured from Boundary Dam is expected to be sold for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations at the Weyburn oilfield, Aquistore provides a permanent CO2 storage option within a deep saline aquifer. It also serves as a monitoring and science project that allows PTRC to build valuable experience and demonstrate to the local community that the entire CCS chain is a safe and technically viable option at commercial scale.
PTRC, alongside many other organisations running large-scale CCS projects, regularly report technical progress, and challenges, at IEAGHG CO2 storage network meetings. Aquistore’s achievements were last reported as part of the 12th Monitoring Network meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, in June 2017 (12th IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting. 2017-10).