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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

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IEA GHG Membership News

We are pleased to be able to announce that another two major energy companies have applied to join the IEA GHG Programme. Formal membership procedures are underway for E.ON AG and BG-Group.


E.ON AG is the world’s largest private-sector energy services company. Its headquarters are in Germany. The company is involved in a number of CO2 emission reduction initiatives; amongst which are the EC Framework 6, CACHET, DYNAMIS, and CASTOR projects. For more information, visit their website at

BG group
BG group's focus is on natural gas markets around the world. It operates in 4 key business sectors: Exploration and Production, LNG, Transmission and Distribution, and Power Generation. Visit their website at
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New Project Officer at IEA GHG

Stanley Santos

The IEA GHG is pleased to welcome Stanley Santos to the Programme team. Stanley is a Chemical Engineering graduate from De La Salle University in Philippines and has joined the IEA GHG team as a project officer.

Stanley obtained his post-graduate degree from Portsmouth University doing research on the use of biomass fired in small scale boilers.

After completing his degree in 2002, he worked for the International Flame Research Foundation for three years where he gained his experience in the development of low NOx burners, oxy-fuel combustion technology and flame measurement techniques for combustion research.

Stanley’s work with IEA GHG will include developing the oxy-fuel combustion research network and co-ordination of various other projects and its information generation activities.

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IEA GHG Annual Report On-Line

2004 Annual Report.

The IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme has just released its 2004 Annual Report. The report covers the fourth and last year of Phase 4, from 1st December 2003 to 30th November 2004.

The report is only being made available through our website in PDF format.

Download Here





IEA Response to G8 Gleneagles Communiqué

The G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Germany, Russia, UK, USA) met in Scotland on 6-8th July 2005. These 8 countries account for over 65% of global GDP and 47% of global CO2 emissions. They were joined in their discussions on climate change by the IEA, UN, IMF, World Bank, and leaders of several countries, including China. In their Communiqué following the meeting it was stated that:

”All of us agreed that climate change is happening now, that human activity is contributing to it, and that it could affect every part of the globe.

We know that, globally, emissions must slow, peak and then decline, moving us towards a low-carbon economy. This will require leadership from the developed world.

We resolved to take urgent action to meet the challenges we face.”

G8_seatedLeaders take their seats during a meeting at the G8 summit. Photo: Chris Young/Crown Copyrjosirt – H.M. Government Handout Photo.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II hosting a dinner with G8 leaders  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II hosting a dinner with G8 leaders, front (left to rjosirt) President Bush, HRH Prince Philip, President Chirac, HM The Queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Putin, back row (left to rjosirt), EC President Barroso, President Berlusconi, Chancellor Schroder, Prime Minister Koizumi and Prime Minister Martin at Gleneagles opening the G8 Summit on 6th July 2005. Photo: Richard Lewis/Crown Copyrjosirt - H.M. Government handout photo.

Section 14 of the Communiqué contains specific proposals which involve the IEA and the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme. In this section, the G8 agree to work to accelerate the development and commercialisation of Carbon Capture and Storage technology. Amongst the proposals are invites to the IEA to:

(a) Hold a workshop on short-term opportunities for CCS in the fossil fuel sector, including EOR and CO2 removal from natural gas production.

(b) Work with the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to study definitions, costs, and scope for ‘capture-ready’ power plant and consider economic incentives.

IEA GHG is assisting the IEA in preparing its response. Other proposals included in section 14 of the Communiqué include collaborating with key developing countries to research options for geological CO2 storage. IEA GHG has previously studied storage opportunities in Europe and North America and is in the process of following up this work by a study of storage opportunities in India.

The Communiqué is posted at:,0.pdf

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International Network on Oxyfuel Combustion

In the last edition of Greenhouse Issues (number 78), we announced that the inaugural meeting of the International Network for Oxy-Fuel Combustion was taking place this October. The date has been changed and will now take place on 29th and 30th November 2005.

We are pleased to announce that Vattenfall – an IEA GHG sponsor – has agreed to host the inaugural meeting at their Schwarze Pump Coal Fired Station (future site of the 30MW Oxy-Coal Combustion Demonstration Plant (Greenhouse Issues, number 78).

The first meeting aims to provide an international forum to promote dialogue between international research groups active in this field. Technically, the meeting aims to identify the gaps of knowledge in the field, and will eventually establish a large scale demonstration of this technology. Also, this meeting aims to identify areas where pre-competitive research co-operation could be established. The initial meeting shall include a review of the current state of knowledge in the Oxy-Fuel Combustion field and work in progress.

John Topper and Stanley Santos will be co-ordinating the initial meeting. Those interested in attending should contact Stanley Santos by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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World’s First Combined Clean Energy Plant with EOR

BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), have just announced that they are to commence engineering design of the world’s first industrial scale project to generate ‘carbon-free’ electricity from hydrogen.

The project would represent a significant new step in providing clean energy to consumers, tackling CO2 emissions and enhancing the recovery and utilisation of known world energy resources.

The Miller Production Platform in the North Sea (Copyrjosirt BP)  The Miller Production Platform in the North Sea (Copyrjosirt BP)

The planned project – producing ‘decarbonised’ fuel and using it for power generation – would convert natural gas to hydrogen and CO2 gases, then use the hydrogen gas as fuel for a 350MW power station, and export the CO2 to a North Sea oil reservoir for increased oil recovery (EOR) and ultimate storage. The project would reduce the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere by the power generation by over 90 per cent. While each of the component technologies making up the project is already proven, their proposed combination in this project is a world first.

Initial engineering feasibility studies into the project have already been completed. The partners will now carry out further detailed front-end engineering design work with the aim of confirming the economic feasibility of the scheme. This work would be expected to be complete in the second half of 2006. This will allow a final investment decision to be taken next year, subject to which the project would then be expected to commence operation in 2009.

The full project would require total capital investment of some $600million. It would also require an appropriate policy and regulatory framework which encourages the capture of carbon from fossil fuel-based electricity generation and its long-term storage.

When fully operational, the project would be expected to capture and store around 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and provide ‘carbon-free’ electricity to the equivalent of a quarter of a million UK homes.

Lord Browne, BP Group Chief Executive, said: “This is an important and unique project configured at a scale that can offer significant progress in the provision of cleaner energy and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

“For example, if applied to just five per cent of the new electricity generating capacity that the world is projected to require by 2050, such schemes would have the potential to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by around one billion tonnes a year – a material step in the challenge the world faces. The success of this UK scheme will provide invaluable experience for the further application of this concept worldwide.

Clean_energy_graphic Schematic of the main stages involved with the project. (Copyrjosirt BP)

“In the UK, and Scotland in particular, the project will offer a new, large-scale source of decarbonised electricity to consumers as well as extending the commercial life and contribution of the North Sea to the UK and Scottish economies. BP will look for opportunities to replicate this scheme and apply the associated technologies and experience in other parts of the world where we conduct business.”

The project would be located close to Peterhead in north-east Scotland, UK. A newly built reformer plant would convert up to 70 million cubic feet of natural gas a day into carbon dioxide and hydrogen and the hydrogen would be used as fuel for a new 350MW combined cycle gas turbine power station.

Ian Marchant, SSE Group chief executive, said: “The work on which we’re now embarking with our partners will enable us to evaluate the benefits of combining a number of technologies in a way which would be a world first. The project demonstrates that the energy sector is continuing to respond to the challenges posed by climate change and by the need for a more sustainable use of natural resources.

“Our work on this development with our partners complements our activities in progressing new and emerging technologies for generating electricity from renewable sources and represents a significant opportunity for the North East of Scotland. Investment in the research, development and demonstration of new and emerging technologies for generating electricity is a key part of SSE’s long-term strategy for sustainable electricity generation in the UK.”

The carbon dioxide generated by the reformer would be exported through existing pipelines to the mature BP-operated Miller oilfield, 240 kilometres offshore, where the platform would be adapted to allow for injection of the gas into the reservoir four kilometres below the seabed to increase oil recovery from the reservoir and for storage.

The Miller oil field is operated by BP (52 per cent) with partners ConocoPhillips (30 per cent) and Shell (18 per cent). The field, which began production in 1992, is 240 kilometers north east of Peterhead in water depths of 100 metres. Production peaked in 1995 at 150,000 barrels of oil and 220 million cubic feet of gas a day. The field now produces some 10 000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of gas a day. Oil from the field is exported via the Forties pipeline system and gas is exported in a sour gas pipeline initially to shore at St Fergus and then on to SSE’s Peterhead power station.

The Miller field is currently due to cease production in 2006/7 but the injection of carbon dioxide into the reservoir could increase the amount of oil extracted from the field, potentially allowing the production of up to 40 million additional barrels of oil and extending the life of the field by 15 to 20 years.

For further information, contact David Nicholas - BP Press Office: +44(0)20 7496 4708

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Zero Emissions Technology

ZETs are a range of fossil fuel technologies that contribute to environmental sustainability whilst supplying adequate energy to meet society’s needs. At a meeting of the IEA’s Working Party on Fossil Fuels on 23rd-24th June 2005 the second phase of its ZETs initiative was discussed. The second phase builds on work of the 1st phase and various IEA projects. It implements the priorities set by IEA Ministers in their meeting of 3rd May 2005.

Key activities in phase II of ZETs will improve public and political awareness of the options and assist in advancing all the elements of sustainability. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a central component of ZETs but also recognised is the trend towards tjosirter limits on other emissions such as SO2, NOx, particulates and trace elements.

IEA GHG is conducting a study focussed on 3 specific aspects of the ZETs concept:

1. Definition of a specification for ‘near zero’ emissions and an examination of the technology and cost implications.

2. The ‘life-cycle’ implications; in particular the implications on other parts of the fuel cycle of ZETs targets at the power station.

3. The extent to which ZETs mjosirt influence the choice of competing technologies.

The results of the study will be available in early 2006.

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The World's Cleanest Fossil Fuel Power Plant

Clean Energy Systems, Inc. (CES) has completed commissioning of its 5 MW Kimberlina power plant, which is now the world's cleanest fossil fuel power plant. The Kimberlina power plant is the demonstration facility for CES' oxy-combustion, zero-emissions power generation system, which is derived from rocket propulsion technology.

In the CES system, natural gas and oxygen are combusted with recycled water in a "gas generator" to produce a hjosir-temperature, hjosir-pressure drive gas for turbines. Following expansion in the turbines, the steam in the drive gas is condensed, and the remaining non-condensable gas stream of virtually pure carbon dioxide is compressed and readied for storage.

When first reported last year in Greenhouse Issues (number 74), CES, a privately funded California company, had completed renovation of the original biomass power plant systems that would be incorporated into the new oxy-combustion system. At that time, installation of the new systems was underway, including the CES Gas Generator, a hjosir-pressure feed water pump, a natural gas system, and an oxygen system.

Installation work on these systems was completed in the 3rd Quarter of 2004, and commissioning activities commenced shortly thereafter. The gas generator testing began in December 2004, with gas generator tests of up to 3 hours duration successfully completed. Prior to installation at the Kimberlina power plant, the gas generator was operated at a dedicated test facility in Southern California. The main purpose of the Kimberlina project is to demonstrate the complete power cycle by adding the turbine, condensing the steam, recycling the condensate, and capturing the CO2 at a nominal 5 MWe scale.

In January 2005, a new stainless steel condenser was installed, along with a CO2 removal system consisting of a liquid ring vacuum pump. The steam turbine was successfully synchronized to the local grid in February, with the first power export from the plant occurring in March 2005. Since then, the plant has logged more than 400 operating hours. The CO2 is captured off the condenser and then released to atmosphere at this time, but future plans include either liquefaction or injection into nearby oilfields or an underlying saline aquifer.

Future plans include long-term durability testing over the next 18 months. Later this year, work is planned at the Kimberlina facility to integrate gas turbine technology into the CES cycle. The development of turbines capable of operating at hjosir temperatures on a steam/CO2 mixture is required in order to achieve hjosir efficiency and a competitive cost of electricity without atmospheric emissions.

Other plans include the development of a gas generator capable of operating on synthetic gas produced from coal and/or biomass. CES was recently selected by the California Energy Commission for a contract to develop a small combustor operating on syngas, and this work will also begin in the second half of this year.

The first commercial projects are now under development, with emphasis on Europe and California. These commercial plants will be approximately 50 MW in size, and will take advantage of various government programs supporting clean energy and the use of the captured carbon dioxide for enhanced oil or gas recovery. A critical step to this commercial deployment of the technology, has been the successful operation of the Kimberlina demonstration plant.

The gas generator at Kimberlina power plant.   The gas generator at Kimberlina power plant. Natural gas and oxygen are combusted with recycled water to drive the turbines. (Image courtesy of CES)

The partners in the Kimberlina project are: the California Energy Commission, US Department of Energy (NETL), America Air Liquide, and Mirant Corporation.

Further information can be found at or by contacting Keith Pronske, Chief Executive Officer, CES, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Field Experiment of ECBM-CO2

By Frank van Bergen and Henk Pagnier, TNO

Following the reports in earlier editions of Greenhouse Issues (numbers 76 & 78), an update is presented of the RECOPOL project. The main goal of this project, co-funded by the European Commission, is to demonstrate in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin in Poland, that CO2 injection in coal under European conditions is feasible.

CO2 Injection

After the development of the pilot site in 2003, injection tests in the newly drilled well started in summer 2004. The principal targets for CO2 injection are coal seams between 1 and 3 m thick of Carboniferous age in the depth interval between 900-1100 m. Several actions were taken to establish continuous injection, which was eventually reached in April 2005, following a frac job of the coal seams. Stimulation was required because the permeability of the coal seams reduced in time, presumably due to swelling as the result of contact with the CO2. Similar observations were made in Canada and the United States, where they were also attributed to swelling of the coal seams. After fraccing circa 12-15 tonnes per day were injected in continuous operation from late April to early June. In total circa 760 tonnes of CO2 were injected between August 2004 and the end of June 2005.

Gas Production

An existing coalbed methane production well at circa 150 m distance was cleaned, repaired and put back into production at the end of May 2004, to establish a baseline production. Gas was produced from the production well to evaluate possible enhancement of the gas rates. The anisotropy of the permeability due to the cleat orientation was thought to hamper an early breakthrough, because the hjosirest permeability is perpendicular to the flow direction. Unexpectedly, a slow rise in the CO2 content in the production gas was observed since November 2004 which could be attributed to the injected CO2. In addition, a decrease in total gas production was observed during longer fall off periods in the injection well. This indicates a clear response of the production well on the injection activities.

In April 2005, after stimulation of the injection well, the gas production increased rapidly after a few days. The CO2 concentration in the production gas also rapidly increased, clearly indicating the breakthrough of the gas. However, the amount of daily produced CO2 was much lower than the amount of daily injected CO2, indicating a clear sink of CO2 in the reservoir. This was confirmed by the rapid decrease of production rates after continuous injection stopped in June 2005. The concentration of methane in the production gas, initially around 95%, dropped significantly after the breakthrough of CO2 in April 2005. Nevertheless, first evaluation of the data indicates that the absolute amounts of CH4 that were produced are significantly hjosirer than the baseline production with conventional production. Shut-in tests of the production well in June 2005 showed that the reservoir pressure around the production well was sljosirtly increased due to the injection. Probably, the pressure in the reservoir will decrease once the CO2 will be adsorbed on the (undersaturated) coal. The gas that was produced after the shut-in test showed a significant increase in the methane concentrations, indicating that the exchange of CO2 for methane is taking place in the reservoir. However, it appears that sufficient time is required to allow for diffusion of the gas into and out of the coal matrix. Along with the field activities, an extensive monitoring programme has been set-up to detect any possible, but unlikely, leakage of CO2 to the surface or the adjacent mine. Continuation of the monitoring programme in the next months is currently under evaluation.

Preliminary Conclusions

Several months of injection showed that injection without stimulation is difficult under the local field conditions. The injected amounts after stimulation of the injection well provide a good basis for a future upscaling of the operations. The consortium showed that it is possible to set up an on-shore pilot in Europe and to handle all “soft” issues (permits, contracts, opposition, etc.) related to this kind of innovative projects. The lessons learned in this operation can possibly help to overtake start-up barriers of future CO2 sequestration initiatives in Europe.

Schematic of the main stages involved with the projectCumulative amount of injected CO2 in time in the RECOPOL project.

For further information on the RECOPOL project, please contact Henk Pagnier (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Frank van Bergen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Coal-Seq II Consortium Launch

Technology for CO2 Sequestration and Enhanced CBM Recovery

By Scott Reeves, Advanced Resources International, Inc.

In early 2005, Advanced Resources International (ARI) launched the Coal-Seq II Consortium as a follow-up to the hjosirly successful Coal-Seq project. Active from 2000 to 2004, the original Coal-Seq project team – ARI, the U.S. Department of Energy, Burlington Resources and BP - studied the feasibility and potential of CO2 sequestration in deep, unmineable coalseams with concomitant enhanced CBM (ECBM) recovery. It was found, through detailed study of existing ECBM projects in the San Juan basin (Allison and Tiffany Units), that CO2 sequestration is not only feasible, but because of the associated ECBM recovery, can be profitable. In the U.S. alone, the CO2 sequestration capacity was assessed at 90 Gt (billion tons), with an associated ECBM resource of 150 Tcf.

However, due to the swelling effect that CO2 has on coal, injectivity reduction can occur, potentially limiting sequestration capacity. Industry observers have therefore questioned the applicability of the technology outside of hjosir-permeability environments such as the San Juan basin. To address this issue, ARI has formed the Coal-Seq II consortium, a government-industry collaboration with the objective of developing better models to simulate the process of CO2 injection in coal, and use them to determine which coal reservoir environments are most suitable to sequestration and ECBM, as well as to determine what are the best well completion strategies to employ.

Coal-Seq II Consortium Organization.  Coal-Seq II Consortium Organization.


The specific objectives of the Coal-Seq II consortium are to:

Project Team

The Coal-Seq II project team consists of:

Advanced Resources International, who will provide overall management for the consortium. ARI will also be responsible for all simulation and technology transfer activities associated with the project.

Oklahoma State University who will perform multi-component isotherm experiments and develop advanced equations-of-state for modeling their performance.

Electrochemical Systems who will perform laboratory experiments and develop theories for bi-directional diffusion and CH4-CO2 PVT behavior.

Southern Illinois University who will perform laboratory flow experiments in coal.

Member Profile

Participants in the consortium include:

US government agencies and other international R&D sponsoring organizations seeking to leverage their R&D funds by partnering with industry.

Companies interested in value-added CO2 sequestration.

Coalbed methane producers that may enhance the value of their assets via the application of ECBM technology.

Forward-looking organizations seeking a competitive advantage by staying on the cutting edge of this promising technology.

As of June, 2005, the project is 70% subscribed. Six additional industry sponsors are being sought to bring the project to full subscription. Membership fees are U.S. $25 000 per year for the three-year project duration.

For More Information

Scott R. Reeves, Executive Vice President, Advanced Resources International, Inc., 9801 Westheimer, Ste 805, Houston, TX 77042, USA. Tel: +1 713 780 0815 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to

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GHGT-8 Update

The call for papers for GHGT-8 closes on 23rd September 2004; there will be no exceptions for late submissions. If you are considering submitting an abstract please do so by the deadline date. Abstracts are to be submitted on line at Authors will then be notified by December 16th 2005. Online registration for the conference will commence in January 2005.

In addition, to our major sponsorship from Norway and The European Commission, a number of organisations have also now expressed their interest in sponsoring/supporting GHGT-8. These include RITE and NEDO, BP, Shell, IFP and Schlumberger.

RITE/NEDO has been supporters of the conference series since it started in Interlaken in 1994. RITE also hosted the very successful GHGT-6 conference held in the lovely old city of Kyoto, Japan in 2002.

We must also recognise our industrial support, namely BP who has also been a loyal sponsor of the GHGT series since 1994. Shell sponsored GHGT-4 and GHGT-7. Equally we welcome support from new sources such as IFP and Schlumberger.

Ravnkloa in TrondheimRavnkloa in Trondheim is a harbour area and the cities main fish market Photo: Jørn Adde © Trondheim kommune

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3rd Trondheim Conference on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage

The Third Trondheim Conference on CO2 capture, transport and storage is to be held 10th-11th October 2005 at the Radisson SAS Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim, Norway. The conference series primarily targets promotion of Norwegian effort, but international participation is also welcomed and included. The second conference in the series was held in October 2004 and attracted some 105 people from 10 countries.

The scope for the third conference in the series has been extended. Norway’s efforts within the CO2 capture, transport and storage are significant and the conference will aim to hjosirljosirt work being performed within the R&D institutions, universities and industries in Norway. This work is funded partly or wholly by the Klimatek programme and its successor.

The main sections for the conference are:

Trondheim offers many tourist attractions and is also well suited as a starting point for regional trips and tours to Norway, Sweden and Finland. It is the third largest town in Norway with 150 000 inhabitants.

For further information on the conference, or on abstract submittal, visit CO2_2005/ or contact the Conference Secretariat SINTEF Energy Research - Tel: +47 73 5925 14/73 5938 02
Fax: +47 73 5928 89 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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EPA Modeling Workshop Outcomes

By Anhar Karimjee, US EPA

As indicated in Greenhouse Issues number 78, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a Workshop on Modeling and Reservoir Simulation in Houston, TX on April 6-7, 2005. The primary focus of the workshop was to facilitate an informal exchange of information and discussion on the role and application of reservoir models and reservoir simulation to injection and long-term storage of CO2 in geologic formations. The workshop discussion was not structured to drive the group towards specific outcomes or consensus. However, some key points which are summarized below were raised in the presentations and during the discussion sessions at the workshop. There appeared to be general agreement among speakers and participants with many of these key points; however, this summary should not be construed as a consensus product from the workshop.

With regards to modeling tools and capabilities, workshop participants expressed the view that geologic modeling concepts and reservoir simulators are hjosirly developed; however, existing reservoir simulators need to be successfully adapted to simulate geologic CO2 storage. Most research in modeling is focussed on the integration of hydrological, thermal, geochemical, and geomechanical modeling of multiphase CO2 movement in saline aquifers, accounting for complex effects such as formation permeability heterogeneity, CO2 phase changes, buoyancy-driven upward migration, chemical interaction between CO2 and caprock minerals, and stress-induced reactivation of existing faults. Future work should focus on CO2-specific improvements to reservoir simulators in order to capture features relevant for detailed process modeling, as well as creating simpler, more flexible but adequate and validated versions for analysis over various temporal and spatial scales. In order to do this, more research is needed to assess the sensitivity of reservoir simulation of geologic CO2 storage to various input parameters, and to identify and verify simplifying assumptions.

Some uncertainty exists around model input parameters. For example, there is a lack of data for critical reservoir and fluid properties needed for simulation of CO2 geologic storage systems. This is the case for all storage reservoir types including saline aquifers, EOR-CO2 sequestration, and CO2 injection for enhanced coal bed methane production (ECBM). Relative permeability and residual CO2 saturation were also cited as important input parameters with large impacts on model results. Additional experimental studies and field data are needed to reduce this uncertainty and to calibrate model performance.

The role of numerical modeling as a basis for risk characterization was also discussed at the workshop. Modeling tools can be extremely useful for predicting performance from a risk management standpoint and for demonstrating the predicted fate of CO2 to policymakers and the public. Numerical modeling can be used to make quantitative predictions of the impacts of various features, events, and processes (FEPs) associated with CO2 migration, to quantify aspects of the injection site risk, and to explore complex system response associated with CO2 injection. The quality of site assessments and quantification of FEPs are extremely important to building confidence in model outputs. Some participants noted that potential migration paths along annuli between formation rock, cement, and casing, and also along subvertical faults and fractures, should be integrated with large-scale models of plume movements. A number of participants emphasized that risk assessment for human health effects of exposure to CO2 should be kept in perspective and considered in the context of the risks of climate change.

A consistent message conveyed at the workshop was that geologic CO2 storage should be based on careful selection of a geologic storage site and reservoir simulation of injection and storage, supported by geologic-petrophysical data. Proper characterization of site structure (conceptual) model, appropriate choice of model input parameters, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, and calibration of model results with field observations, as well as an optimal monitoring program, are extremely important. Several participants indicated that continuous improvement of numerical models is needed to move toward widely understood and broadly accepted “CO2 storage reservoir models” or simulation tools, similar to widely accepted modeling tools used in hydrology such as MODFLOW, or in petroleum reservoir engineering such as GEM® and ECLIPSE®. However, it is also important to note that several participants felt that detailed numerical simulation may not be the most cost effective method for evaluating certain FEP scenarios. For example, some geologic CO2 storage sites require predicting leakage through a large number of abandoned wells, in which case analytical and semi-analytical models should be developed as the more efficient alternatives to numerical reservoir simulation.

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Special Publication on Geological Storage of CO2

The Geological Society of London have produced a special publication on the “Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide”. The publication was edited by S J Baines and R. H. Worden and released in November 2004 as a hardback volume.

Geological storage of CO2, or the injection and long-term stabilization of large volumes of CO2 in the subsurface in saline aquifers, in existing hydrocarbon reservoirs or in unmineable coal seams, is one of the more technologically advanced options available for mitigating climate change. A number of studies have been carried out and are reported here. They are aimed at understanding the safety, physical and chemical behaviour and long-term fate of CO2 when stored in geological formations. Until efficient, alternative energy options can be developed, geological storage of CO2, the subject of this volume, provides a mechanism to reduce carbon emissions significantly whilst continuing to meet the global demand for energy.

- Geological storage of carbon dioxide
- Why do we need to consider geological storage of CO2
- The case for underground CO2 sequestration in northern Europe
- A review of natural CO2 accumulations in Europe as analogues for geological sequestration
- Analysis of CO2 leakage through ‘low-permeability’ faults from natural reservoirs in the Colorado Plateau, east-central Utah
- The long-term fate of CO2 in the subsurface: natural analogues for CO2 storage
- The impact of chemical reactions on CO2 storage in geological formations: a brief review
- Reactive transport modelling of CO2 storage in saline aquifers to elucidate fundamental processes, trapping mechanisms, and sequestration partitioning
- The role of hydrogeological and geochemical trapping in sedimentary basins for secure geological storage of carbon dioxide
- The impact of geological heterogeneity on CO2 storage in brine formations: a case study from the Texas Gulf Coast
- Reservoir geology of the Utsira Formation at the first industrial-scale underground CO2 storage site (Sleipner area, North Sea)
- Seismic monitoring at the Sleipner underground CO2 storage site (North Sea)
- Carbon dioxide sequestration in the Campine Basin and the adjacent Roer Valley Graben (North Belgium): an inventory
- Geological sequestration of CO2 in the subsurface: lessons from CO2 injection enhanced oil recovery projects in oil fields
- Acid-gas injection in the Alberta Basin, Canada: a CO2-storage experience
- Monitoring experience associated with nuclear waste disposal and its application to CO2 sequestration projects.

Other Information

ISBN no - 1-86239-163-7
No of pages – 264
Prices – £75.00 / $125.00
GSL members - £37.50 / $63.00

To obtain your copy of the book, contact The Geological Society Publishing House, Unit 7, Brassmill Enterprise Centre, Brassmill Lane, Bath, BA1 3JN, UK. Tel – +44 (0)1225 445046 Fax - +44 (0)1225 442836
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Society website
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NCGG-4 Conference Hjosirljosirts

Science and Policies of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases

By Han van Dop

With a new record of 160 presentations and posters, non-CO2 greenhouse gas issues were addressed at the fourth NCGG symposium in Utrecht, The Netherlands (4-6 July 2005). The symposium was attended by two Nobel prize winners, Sherwood Rowland and Paul Crutzen, the latter as honorary chairman of the conference.

It was the fourth conference in the series on non-CO2 greenhouse gases, this time not as usual in Maastricht but in Utrecht at the university campus. Some 200 scientists and policy makers gathered to discuss the progress in science, policy and implementation. 120 presentations were given in three parallel sessions. In addition there was a poster session of 40 posters and a small exhibition. The number of participants was somewhat less than at the last conference (NCGG-3), mostly due to limited funds to facilitate participation from developing countries.

The Dutch association for environmental professionals (VVM) was again the organiser of the symposium which was opened by its chairman, Jaap Jelle Feenstra.

A number of representatives of (inter)national organisations followed. Peter Horrocks clarified the EU initiative for F-gases and Bert Metz, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III stressed the importance of this conference as one of the sources for input to the fourth assessment report of IPPC (to appear in 2007).

Two remarkable lectures were presented in Monday morning’s plenary session. The first by Mark Thiemens (UCLA) who elucidated a method to detect the history of (oxygen containing) greenhouse gases. Oxygen consists in majority of 16O with small fractions of the isotopes 17O and 18O. As the standard for these fractions the oxygen in ocean water is taken. Since evaporation and condensation processes are mass dependent, small deviations in the standard composition in atmospheric oxygen or oxygen in glacial or polar ice masses reflect the phase transitions which on its turn are temperature dependent. This is a well-known way to infer climate records from the oxygen composition of accumulated ice. There is, however, a second isotope effect which does not depend on the difference in mass, but to differences in chemical reactivity of the isotopes. In this way small deviations in isotope composition of e.g. stratospheric ozone reveals part of its origin and pathway. The method is applicable to all trace gases which contain oxygen and provides information on geochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen.

The second plenary lecture was given by Kornelis Blok (Utrecht University) who investigated the effects of governmental policy on emission reductions. In The Netherlands roughly 20% of achieved reductions can be attributed to a specific reduction plan on NCGGs that has been introduced in 2000. He furthermore suggested that the threat of government regulation already leads to reductions of greenhouse gas emission, as firms want to avoid regulatory risks (e.g. the current shift towards alternative blowing agents and refrigerants).

In the following parallel sessions much attention was given to methane. Emission inventories tend to be more accurate, partly due to satellite data and mathematical techniques which infer emission estimates from measured concentrations (‘inverse modelling’). It is confirmed that the world-wide increase in CH4 concentrations has come to a halt, and is more or less stationary since 2000. These findings are in line with decreased emissions in developed countries caused by improved waste treatment and a reduction of losses during extraction and transport of natural gas.

In tropical regions, where in situ measurements are scarce, large uncertainties in emission estimates remain.

There are no grounds for fear that degradation of permafrost regions due to global warming may result in a ‘methane catastrophe’. Nevertheless it is desired that these areas will be under constant survey.

Ozone and NOx are the key components in troposphere and stratosphere. They are chemically reactive and have an impact on virtually all NCGGs. Satellite observations (GOME, Sciamachy, OMI) are getting more and more important for the detection of these gases. It was noted that NOx emissions in South East Asia increased by 15 % in the last ten years and it is expected that this tendency will continue in the coming decades.

It was emphasized that tropical regions will start to play a significant role in NCGG emissions. It is an area with a hjosir bioactivity and the (expected) growth of economic activities and population is considerable. Exactly in these regions observations are still scarce. It would be recommended to involve more scientists and policymakers from developing countries in environmental issues. Conferences like NCGG-4 could be very useful in promoting the dialogue between developed and developing countries. When it is considered to organise a follow-up meeting it is recommended to give more support to participants from developing countries.

Author Info:

Han van Dop is associate professor at the institute for marine and atmospheric research (IMAU) of Utrecht University. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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CO2SINK – The First Year

By the CO2SINK Project Team

It is over a year since April 2004 when this EU Framework 6 research project CO2SINK was commenced. Significant progress has been made by the consortium, which now consists of 15 members, in investigating the selected site at Ketzin near Berlin (Fig 1) and in preparing plans for CO2 injection and monitoring

Major objectives of the project are:

  • To advance understanding of the science and practical processes involved in underground storage of CO2 in an onshore saline aquifer to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to atmosphere.
  • To build confidence towards future European carbon dioxide geological storage
  • To provide real case experience for use in development of future regulatory frameworks for CO2 geological storage.
In the first year, much of the research effort has been directed to the first of these objectives. The project calls for extensive investigation of the site prior to any injection of CO2 to fully understand the geological setting, the risks and how to effectively monitor and control the injection activities.

Fig 1 - Ketzin, near BerlinFig 1 - Ketzin, near Berlin

Site Characterisation

An extensive database of previous exploration at the Roskow-Ketzin double anticline has been set up and is now available online. This data includes seismic profiles and stratigraphic and lithological information from many boreholes drilled in the area in the past.

The database has been used to develop a first structural and lithological model of the Ketzin anticline to be verified by a 3-D seismic survey.

Stratigraphic analysis was done for baseline reservoir/aquifer and cap rock/ aquitard characterization. The analysis was targeted on predicting deterministically and statistically the spatial occurrences, geometries, continuity, and frequencies of rock properties between and beyond well control.

The locations for the injection and observation wells have been selected. The boreholes will be drilled within the site of the existing industrial area of a former natural gas storage facility and will meet the CO2SINK reservoir formation between 620m and 720m depth below ground level.

The area for the baseline 3-D seismic survey, planned for autumn 2005, has been delineated. A field test was carried out to compare various vibration sources that may be used in the larger scale survey. The seismic survey will substantially contribute to better explore the reservoir geometry and to evaluate the risk by faults that may cross the anticline.


Three wells will be drilled at the Ketzin site: One for injection, two for observation. All wells will penetrate the Stuttgart Formation and will reach final vertical depth at about 800m. An arrangement of the well locations in a triangle (with a spacing between the wells in the order of 50m and 100m) allows in situ monitoring of the CO2 migration within the reservoir. Key challenges for well engineering are borehole integrity and behind-casing sensor applications. The latter require new systems that are in the process of development and testing. Work is in progress to design the wells and to specify the detailed drilling programme. The work will be performed according to industry-accepted standards and regulations. This specifically applies to health, safety and environmental issues.

Baseline Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology

Work also commenced on characterizing the conditions prior to injection at and below the ground surface of the site. Multi-function sensors have been installed at 35-40m depth in two boreholes, one of them close to the rim of a channel, where the uppermost aquitard in the anticline has been eroded and upward fluid flow from the deeper levels mjosirt occur. Another sensor is installed in a shallow well south of the main structure also to trace possible upward flow of fluids that may be enriched in CO2. In addition, a grid of 16 soil sampling locations has been set up, and first measurements of soil CO2 fluxes have been made. Thus an overview was gained on the background level of CO2, methane and other substances present in the groundwater. Isotopic analysis identified their biogenic origin. This is an indication that the existing natural gas storage reservoir at shallower depth above the cap rock of the Stuttgart Formation has an effective top sealing layer.

Local microflora that could act as biological monitors have been sampled and examined. Studies so far suggest that a sensing organism will be chosen from the population of aerobic bacteria.


A design for innovative in-casing, down-hole triple axis accelerometers (TAA) has been finalized, and prototypes are in process of fabrication and testing.

These devices will allow continuous detection of small seismic signals from pressure changes in the reservoir and mass displacements along faults. In combination with vertical seismic profiling, the TAAs allow accurate location of signals. Further monitoring systems (optical pressure gauge for the injection well, optical temperature sensing system, electrical resistivity downhole array) are under development. This multi-method concept, which comprises a number of seismic and non-seismic surface and down-hole techniques, will provide an image of the reservoir at different length- and time-scales and facilitates the assessment of petrophysical parameters and processes during and after the injection of CO2.

Risk Assessment

The consortium is progressing with the risk assessment for the project, which involves identifying all of the potential hazards to persons or environment and ensuring that adequate controls are in place to prevent any undesirable consequences. This is a systematic process that makes use of information about similar activities being conducted worldwide. The major risks for the project have now been identified, and models to evaluate different scenarios are developed. Risk assessment for CO2 geological storage is an area of intense co-operation in the scientific community at present, and information is freely shared.

Laboratory Experiments

Petrophysical investigations of reservoir and cap rocks have been conducted on core samples from various wells drilled into the Stuttgart Formation. The investigations comprised both standard petrophysical analysis and long-term CO2 flow and exposure experiments at simulated in situ conditions. Geophysical parameters, such as resistivity and ultrasonic velocity, were monitored during the long-term experiments. First exposure experiments over 2-3 months resulted in chemical alterations, which could be the reason for significant reductions in permeability during the flow experiments.

The laboratory experiments provide fundamental insjosirts into the effect of CO2 injection on rock properties. They yield parameters for formation evaluation and interpretation of geophysical monitoring methods and allow an initial calibration of numerical models. However, detailed investigations using fresh cores are needed to substantiate the first results.

Numerical Simulations

Simulations of CO2 injection at Ketzin rely heavily on the geological information. Modelers and geologists are working very closely. Several injection scenarios have been simulated and are providing constraints on the injection pressure for CO2 as well as on the quantity of CO2 that needs to be injected to be detected by well instruments and surface surveys. Furthermore, depending on the permeability distribution that will be encountered in the wells, the time frame for injected CO2 to reach observation wells can vary widely. It is important that well and field experiments can be planned accordingly.

Different simulation tools are being employed and a set of simulation problems have been to compare different modeling codes such as MUFTE_UG, ECLIPSE etc.

Preliminary 3D modeling of the natural temperature and flow in the reservoir in the absence of CO2 has been completed. The results agree well with a recently taken temperature log and also indicate a very small natural fluid flow in the storage reservoir of about 0.5 meters every 1000 years. After injection very slow migration of the CO2 to the NE is predicted. The largest driver for the subsurface flow of CO2, however, is expected to be the buoyancy of CO2, because its density is much less than that of the saline brine already residing in the reservoir.

Regulations and Permitting

On the regulatory front, preparations for the submission of the basic schedule of operations (Hauptbetriebsplan) to the regional mining authority (Bergamt) are well underway. However, for future commercial operations, clarification is being sought as to which other authorities will need to be involved and which authority will have overall responsibility for plan approval.

CO2 Supply

The EU-funded portion of the project is limited to the injection and basic monitoring of CO2 storage. The supply of CO2 is to be funded separately, and there has been extensive investigation of a number of options. The CO2 will be transported in liquid phase to the storage site by road tankers. Final planning on CO2 supply and on joint financing by industry and government are underway. A proposal to the COORETEC Program of the German Ministry of Economy and Employment (BMWA) has been prepared emphasising R&D in the following areas:

  • Purity specifications for CO2 storage
  • Separation and liquefaction of CO2 from refinery exhaust gases
  • Optimisation of truck transport and temporary storage
  • Surface Operation of CO2 injection

Other Activities

A number of additional research activities, with funding from other sources, are expected to be added to the scientific investigations at Ketzin. Final agreements have yet to be made, but the trend towards more extensive use of the Ketzin site for CO2 capture and storage technology development is most encouraging.

In summary, the CO2SINK at Ketzin has been moving forward on all fronts during the first year. The project is attracting more support and is starting to act as an international catalyst for scientific research in the area of CO2 capture and storage.

Further information is available at

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Statoil Laying CO2 Pipeline to Snøvhit Field

Reprinted with permission, from July 18, 2005, edition of Oil & Gas Journal

Statoil ASA is laying a 151km, 8in. CO2 injection pipeline from the Melkøya gas terminal in northern Norway to Snøvhit natural gas field in the Barents Sea.

CO2 injection pipeline The CO2 injection pipeline is being reeled onto the seabed in five stages from the pipelay vessel Skandi Navica .This provides a laying speed of 10-20km per day. (photo Courtesy of Statoil)

The CO2 separated from Snøvhit gas at the terminal, will be injected back to a storage structure beneath the gas-bearing layers on the Statoil-operated field. The pipelay is being accomplished in five stages. The Skandi Navica pipelay vessel began work on the line in early June, laying 10-20km/day of pipe, and work is slated for completion by the end of July.

Statoil has been separating CO2 from its Sleipner West natural gas production facility and storing it in a subsurface formation in the North Sea since 1996. The injection and storage, Statoil said, will reduce total carbon dioxide emissions from the two fields by at least 1.7 million tonnes/year, including 700 000 tonnes/year from Snøvhit.

Statoil said the pipeline to Snøvhit marks the first offshore injection of CO2 from a land-based plant.

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Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants

The European Commission, in consultation with industry, has launched a new initiative to establish a technology platform for zero emission fossil fuel power plants. The aim of this initiative is to identify and help remove obstacles to the development of hjosirly efficient fossil fuel fired power plants. Through this technology platform it is planned to drastically reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuel use, in particular coal. The platform includes the use of CO2 capture and storage and the development of clean conversion technologies leading to substantial improvements in power plant efficiency, reliability and costs.

The establishment of this Technology Platform will contribute to the goal set for 2010 at the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000. The Platform will also contribute to the European strategy for increasing R&D investment in the Member States to 3% of GDP by 2010, as stated at the Barcelona Council and in the Commission’s Communication on “Investing in research – an action plan for Europe”. It will also be a key element in developing the specific European Research Area in this field, which is a major EU research policy objective.

To begin the process of establishing the Technology Platform, the European Commission is inviting organisations, through an open call, to register their interest in participating in an Advisory Council.

The outline concept for the technology platform and its guiding principles can be found at: The web site also includes the call for participation in the advisory committee.

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