Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA logo

IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Category: Uncategorised


GHGT-8 Call for Papers Now Open

The International Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference, GHGT-8, is now calling for abstracts of papers. GHGT-8 is to be held in Trondheim, Norway in June 2006.

The main themes for the conference programme have been expanded and will now cover:

Full details of the call for papers and how to submit abstracts on-line are available on the conference web site:

As part of our continuing efforts to improve the quality of papers presented at the conference and select appropriate sessions the abstract size has been increased. Abstracts between 500 and 1000 words will now be required. Abstracts submitted below this size will not be considered. A call for papers brochure has also been prepared which is available for download on the conference web site ( and from the IEA GHG home page.

Arial photo of TrondhiemArial photo of Trondhiem (Courtesy of NTNU Info, Bård F. Gimmes)

Back to top

IEA GHG Membership News

At the recent Executive Committee meeting held in Växjö, Sweden in April, members were pleased to approve the participation of two more sponsors to the IEA GHG Programme.

Statoil Vattenfall

Statoil, who have a long-term association with IEA GHG representing Norway, are to become a sponsor. Norway will continue to participate in the Programme as a member.

Vattenfall, one the four largest power companies in Europe, will also become a sponsor. Vattenfall is taking a leading role in the work for CO2 abatement; see article in this issue on oxyfuel pilot plant.

Back to top

Weyburn Project Update

The Petroleum Technology Research Center (PTRC) is pleased to announce the launch of the next phase of the Weyburn CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project. The official launch was announced by Mike Monea, Executive Director of PTRC on 3rd May 2005 at the Fourth Annual Conference on Carbon Capture & Sequestration in Alexandria, Virginia USA.

Key Sponsors of the Project include US Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and the Province of Saskatchewan. Several other industry and government sponsors have already committed or expressed interest in participating in this phase.

Weyburn FacilityWeyburn Facility where the main CO2 pipeline comes in from Beulah, North Dakota (Courtesy of PTRC, Canada)

The PTRC has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IEA GHG, with respect to their continued endorsement of the Weyburn Project. IEA GHG will be continue to be actively engaged in the next phase. The next phase will include the Midale Unit operated by Apache Canada Ltd. Apache will be implementing a field-wide CO2 EOR project in the fall of 2005.

The Midale Unit and the Weyburn Unit (EnCana operated-Phase 1) share the same contiguous Midale Beds reservoir. Including the Midale Unit provides the opportunity to leverage the lessons learnt from Weyburn and begin to implement “best practises.” A measurement, monitoring, and verification (MMV) program will be developed for the Midale property and will help validate the ‘best practises manual,’ one of the key deliverables from the next phase.

This phase will include collection of critical baseline data for the Midale Unit, prior to the start of injection this fall. The Weyburn Project is expected to also include ongoing monitoring of the Weyburn Phase 1 project area and considerable focus on Risk Assessment and Integration. Other focus areas identified for this next phase are Regulation, Communications (public outreach) activities, and Policy/Business issues.

Weyburn flow linesWeyburn flow lines entering satellite building (courtesy of RTRC, Canada)

PTRC is working with the leading sponsors to finalise the scope of work and organisational structure for the next phase of the Weyburn Project. Depending upon the funding level obtained and the final scope of work to be approved by the leading sponsors, some retooling of research proposals already submitted is expected. Additional proposals may also be required to address gaps that may be identified.

A key deliverable for the next phase is a “Best Practises Manual” for geological storage, monitoring, and verification. Installation of the grid computing system is proceeding, with computer hardware hoping to be configured and functional by mid-year.

The PTRC/University of Regina is also submitting a proposal to the Canadian government to implement demonstration-scale projects to capture CO2 from a local refinery and coal-fired power plant in conjunction with one or two saline aquifer storage projects. Potentially, this CO2 stream could be available to the Weyburn and Midale EOR projects.

For further information, contact Mike Monea by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top

8th Meeting of the CO2 Capture Test Network

The 8th International Meeting of the CO2 capture test network takes place on 3rd and 4th October 2005, at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA.

The Network was developed by IEA GHG to stimulate world-wide collaboration and encourage practical development of post combustion CO2 capture technology. The ultimate objective however is to work towards a large-scale demonstration plant for CO2 capture. Such a demonstration plant would serve as an international test bed for best available CO2 capture technology.

Over the 2 days in October, participants will hear presentations on solvent based CO2 capture and related systems for post-combustion capture. The outline programme is currently being drawn up, but will focus on aspects such as process modelling, basic laboratory studies and pilot plant investigations.

60 delegates attended the last workshop with representatives from 10 countries, and was held in conjunction with GHGT-7 in Vancouver, 2004. Cooperation in the development of MEA and related solvents for the post combustion capture of CO2 were discussed. Attendance at the workshop is by invitation only. For further information, please contact the IEA GHG Programme or the workshop coordinator, John Topper by email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top

Squeaky Clean Fossil Fuels

By Fred Pearce. Reprinted with permission from New Scientist. (Issue 2497, New Scientist magazine, 30 April 2005)

Can we continue to burn fossil fuels and still hope to halt global warming? It seems unlikely - and with the cost of generating wind and solar electricity falling, perhaps unnecessary. Despite this, big money and big politics are lining up behind the development of “zero-emission” power plants that burn coal or gas but release no carbon dioxide.

The latest advocates are former fans of renewable energy at the European Union, who say the strategy will be “essential” if the EU is to meet targets for limiting the emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. This month, at a conference in Brussels, Europe’s new commissioner for energy, Andris Piebalgs, said the EU could cut CO2 emissions while continuing to burn its native coal and lignite. And still stay economically competitive.

One way to do this, Piebalgs said, is to embrace clean coal technologies - a move that would chime with the Bush administration’s push for clean-coal technology in the US. The other is to store CO2 by capturing it before it leaves power plants and burying it underground. These are now the EU’s two top priorities in energy research, something that will anger environmentalists who want the world to abandon fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

One technique to stop power stations producing CO2 is to pass emissions though chemical scrubbers which contain amines that react with and trap CO2. Similar technology is already used to remove CO2 from natural gas, to boost the proportion of hydrogen it contains. “It’s just a matter of scaling up,” says Julio Friedmann, a former ExxonMobil geologist now at the University of Maryland. In future, the carbon could even be removed from fuel before it is burnt.

To bury the CO2 securely underground, the gas has to be compressed, then injected under pressure down a pipeline into redundant coal seams, old oil or gas wells, or porous rocks filled with salt water.

On a rig in the North Sea, the Norwegian company Statoil already strips a million tonnes of CO2 each year from natural gas at the Sleipner gas field and buries it in a saline aquifer without ever bringing it to land. At the In-Salah gas field in Algeria, energy giant BP last year began reburying a similar amount of CO2 in sandstone 2 kilometres down. Old oil and gas fields stored hydrocarbons safely for millions of years, raising hopes that the same can be done for CO2 from power stations.

Storage Option Global Capacity
(GT CO2)

Depleted oil and gas fields


Deep saline reservoirs

400 - 10 000

Unminable coal measures


Oil companies like the idea, because injecting CO2 into oil wells can flush out any remaining oil. As the oil dissolves the CO2, its viscosity falls and its volume increases, forcing it out under pressure. This technology too has been shown to work: more than a million tonnes of CO2 a year is being injected into the Weyburn oilfield in Saskatchewan, Canada, to flush out the remaining oil.

In a similar way, the coal industry expects to be able to inject CO2 into coal seams, and recover methane gas into the bargain for use as fuel. An EU trial is under way in Poland (see later article on RECOPOL).

Most major industrial regions have convenient CO2 burial grounds, Harry Audus of the IEA GHG Programme told the Brussels meeting. In the US, virtually all the top 500 CO2 emitters are within 150 kilometres of suitable geological formations. And Europe has a large potential burial ground in former oil and gas wells beneath the North Sea.

Global estimates of the geological space available for the economic burial of CO2 are sketchy. But Audus estimates that up to around 10 000 GT CO2 could be stored underground (see Table), several times the likely emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels in the coming century. This could at least give the world extra time to give up its reliance on fossil fuels.

At an estimated current price of $40 to $60 per tonne of CO2, carbon storage and burial is still not cheap, though its proponents say it could soon compete with renewable energy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will present a detailed report on carbon capture and storage to signatories of the Kyoto protocol in November. After that, says Audus, “it should become an accepted mitigation option”.

Back to top

International Network on Oxyfuel Combustion

It is proposed to hold a meeting aimed at establishing an IEA GHG International Network on Oxyfuel Combustion. The inaugural meeting will take place on 17th to 18th October 2005.

Oxyfuel combustion processes are a way of reducing emissions of CO2 to atmosphere that are potentially competitive with the capture of CO2 in post- and pre- combustion alternatives. However, they are not as well established and fundamental data is required to obtain design criteria. A significant number of organisations are working in this area on test rigs and pilot plants.

Vertical combuster of a CO2 recycle test rigVertical combuster of a CO2 recycle test rig located in a laboratory at the CANMET Energy Technology Centre. The rig is designed to recycle flue gases back into a combustion process. Courtesy CANMET-CETC.

The basic concept of the Networks is to promote dialogue between international research groups active in specific R,D,&D areas. The scope of activities for the proposed Oxyfuel Network will be for those interested in taking part to define. For example, it would probably include both wet and dry CO2 recycle approaches to temperature moderation; it could also include using a water recycle. At a minimum, it is expected that oxyfuel researchers will be willing to exchange key physical property data such as on heat transfer coefficients and on mass transfer properties of gaseous impurities. More ambitiously, there would be opportunities for those working in this area to engage in co-operative R&D activities aimed at minimising duplication of effort.

The Japanese Members of IEAGHG have kindly arranged for JCOAL and IHI to host a workshop in Japan to develop and agree an outline of activities that could usefully be undertaken co-operatively by workers in the field of oxyfuel combustion. Attendees will need to meet their own accommodation and travel expenses. The IEA GHG International Networks are typically non-contributory and, once established, hold a meeting once a year. IEA GHG members participate by organising the meetings, providing secretariat support, and facilitating the meetings.

Those interested in attending, what we hope will be the inaugural meeting of this International Network on Oxyfuel Combustion should contact Dr John Topper by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Dr Topper will be co-ordinating organisation of the initial meeting on behalf of IEA GHG.

Back to top

Carbon Capture and Sequestration Conference

The 4th Annual Conference on Carbon Capture and Sequestration was held in Alexandria, VA, USA on 2nd to 5th May 2005. Two extensive sessions were held that will be of interest to many of our readers:

There were 13 papers on the Frio project. This project demonstrated the process of CO2 sequestration in a Texan brine formation. The project was deemed to have been a resounding success.

There were presentations from each of the 7 Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships. These Regional Partnerships were initiated by the United States Department of Energy with the goal of developing an infrastructure to support and enable future carbon sequestration field tests and deployments. Further information about the Regional Partnerships can be found at the following website:

Back to top

Vattenfall to Build Pilot Plant for a CO2-Free Coal-Fired Power Station

Vattenfall is to build the world’s first pilot plant for a carbon dioxide-free coal-fired power station. The plant will be built next to the Schwarze Pumpe coal-fired power station near Spremberg in Brandenburg to the south of Berlin. It is estimated that the plant will be ready for operation in 2008 and that the required investment will amount to approximately EUR 40 million (SEK 370 million).

The technology that will be used, carbon dioxide separation with oxyfuel technology, entails firing the lignite using pure oxygen and recycled carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide that is formed in the combustion process can then be separated in so pure a form that it can be retrieved and later stored permanently in rock formations underground. Carbon dioxide can thus be prevented from reaching the atmosphere.

The pilot plant, which is rated at 30 MW, is part of a research and development project aimed at developing and commercialising the new technology. It will take three years to build the plant, which according to plan will be commissioned in 2008. “The risks associated with climate change require decisive action on the part of business and industry too,” said Vattenfall’s President and CEO, Lars G. Josefsson, when the project was presented in Berlin. “The ‘CO2-free power plant’ project with its pilot plant signifies that Vattenfall, as a leading European energy company, is taking a further concrete step towards reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide – emissions that affect the global climate.” Klaus Rauscher, President of Vattenfall Europe AG, stressed the pioneering nature of the project: “Our lignite-fired power stations are already the most advanced in the world. With this planned pilot plant we will once again be breaking new technological ground and making crucial advances in the field of research and development. The oxyfuel technology for a CO2-free coal-fired power plant will give us, as an electricity generator with lignite-fired plants, a leading role in the development of a more climate-friendly system for the extraction of energy from lignite.”

Vattenfall’s lignite-fired power stations in Lausitz and central Germany are the most modern of their type in the world. The power stations were modernised in the 1990s for a total sum of EUR 9 billion (over SEK 80 billion). Vattenfall’s pilot project for CO2 separation is being conducted in collaboration with leading research institutes at German universities. For a presentation, please see or

Back to top

Norway Holds CCS Conference

A conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) was hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on 26th April 2005. Approximately 160 representatives from the industry, research institutions, NGOs and politicians, including the Norwegian Minister of Oil and Gas, participated.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) presented their report on the use of CO2 injection for enhanced oil recovery to the Norwegian Ministry for Oil and Energy, concluding, that at the present time CO2 injection does not appear to be a viable commercial option for improved oil recovery on the Norwegian Shelf. The report does not address environmental aspects. Most of the presenters pointed to the potential of CCS in reducing CO2 emissions, but at the same time emphasised the great challenges in resolving remaining issues, e.g., logistics and cost. The International Energy Agency presented a model on the role of CCS in future CO2 management, concluding that a significant contribution could be achieved by CCS at a cost level of $50/t CO2, mainly from reduced combustion of coal. Of the three oil and gas companies who made presentations, Statoil stated their continued commitment to engage in CCS, referring to their current operations of the Sleipner Field, In-Salah gas field in Algeria, and consideration made regarding CCS in their future Snøhvit (LNG) operations; Shell’s focus was on the current technological status and issues to be resolved before CCS could become a viable alternative on a broad scale; Hydro expressed the greatest skepticism regarding CCS and stated that it is not a means for enhanced oil recovery due to hjosir costs, other better available alternatives, and pollution of natural gas in the reservoir.

The NPD report and presentation material is available on the Ministry of Oil and Energy’s web site, address:

Back to top

RECOPOL Workshop

As reported in a recent edition of Greenhouse Issues (number 76), the RECOPOL project is entering the last few months of operation. Launched in November 2001, this co-funded European Commission project was the first of its kind in Europe. The project has investigated the technical and economical feasibility of permanently and safely storing CO2 in subsurface coal seams, whilst simultaneously producing methane (Greenhouse Issues, number 70).

As part of the projects final dissemination activities, a workshop was organised by TNO-NITG (Technical Research Institute – Netherlands Geological Survey, the project co-ordinators), Central Mining Institute (Central Mining Institute, Poland) and IEA GHG. The workshop looked at the opportunities for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) in Central and Eastern Europe with specific focus on the results of the RECOPOL project.


CO2 storage tanks at the RECOPOL pilot projectCO2 storage tanks at the RECOPOL pilot project The site tour includes CO2 injection well MS-3

The workshop was held in Szczyrk in Southern Poland on 10th-11th March 2005. Day one of the workshop included an international perspective on CO2 capture and storage, a look at the requirements for the reduction of harmful emissions from power plants in Poland, an overview of worldwide CO2 Enhanced Coal Bed Methane (CO2-ECBM) projects and the potential for CCS in Central and Eastern Europe. The first day also included a trip to the site of the RECOPOL pilot project.

The RECOPOL results were presented during the second day of the workshop:

Geological characterisation of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB).

This looked at the stratigraphy and lithology of the strata, tectonics and the resources of the reservoir. There was plenty of information available from years of observations conducted in the Brzeszcze and Silesia coal mines.

CO2 injection well test, planning, performance and analysing. The conclusion of this part of the project was that the wells had been successfully completed and the perforations were located in the rjosirt place (i.e. in line with the coal seams). The plans for the project were modified to ensure successful injection. The permeability of the coal at the test site was low which is not ideal for a CO2-ECBM project. Favourable hjosir permeability conditions such as those seen at the commercial scale project in the U.S.A. are not common elsewhere around the world. To improve injectivity into coals other technologies mjosirt have to be used, such as fracturing or the use of horizontal wells.

Determination of the change in permeability of coal by bottom hole pressure survey and fall-off test. The tests concluded that the decrease in permeability observed during CO2 injection was most likely due to coal swelling. A future challenge will be to understand the mechanisms of coal swelling so it can be prevented or its impacts reduced.

Reservoir modelling of coal bed methane operations. Simulation was undertaken to investigate all the phases of the planned CO2-ECBM pilot test. From the beginning of the project it was recognised that the presence of the injected CO2 at the production well (i.e. breakthrough) would provide the maximum amount of information on the potential of CO2-ECBM in the Silesian coal. With this in mind the distance between the injection and production wells was determined to allow breakthrough within the time frame of the project. The indication of breakthrough, identified by the rise to 8% CO2 in the produced gas (naturally - 97% methane, 2% CO2) was earlier than the simulation models suggested. However, the models are two years old and the early breakthrough could provide useful information on the adsorption of CO2 in the coal seam.

Isotopic evidence of CO2 influx from MS-3 to MS-4 well. The main purpose of stable carbon isotopic analysis was to determine the origin of the CO2 at the production well. This form of analysis identifies the naturally occurring CO2 from the injected CO2. Being able to determine between the two would provide evidence as to whether the injected CO2 had reached the production well or whether it is only the naturally occurring CO2 that was present. The presence of injected CO2 was identified at the production well in December 2004.

Sociological and psychological problems related with social reception of CO2 storage. This focused on three stages of social/public consultation that could be applied in future projects. The three stages identified were: promotional campaigns, surveys and public hearings/debates.

Monitoring techniques applied for CO2 injection in coal. The monitoring undertaken as part of the pilot study should help to improve the understanding of CO2 storage in these coal layers. The measurements from the various techniques utilized should aid the development of a subsurface model that predicts future behaviour of the stored CO2 and the coal after field abandonment. The overview of the RECOPOL project given by the co-ordinators of the project, announced the significant outcomes from the RECOPOL project as:


Since the workshop was held a fracture test has been successfully completed and continuous injection into the coal seam has now been achieved (details will appear in a future issue of Greenhouse Issues). More detailed information on the RECOPOL Workshop can be found at

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.).

Back to top

EPA Workshop on Modelling and Reservoir Simulation

By Anhar Karimjee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a geological reservoir modelling workshop on 6th-7th April 2005 in Houston, TX. The objective of the workshop was to assess the potential role and application of reservoir models and reservoir simulation to geological CO2 storage. The workshop sought to determine the state of art in the development and application of modelling approaches and numerical simulators for geological CO2 storage. The workshop also aimed to understand how models and reservoir simulation can be applied during key stages in the life cycle of CO2 storage reservoir from site selection and characterization through injection operations and post-injection verification of CO2 containment. Finally, the workshop aimed to understand research and data needs to improve the application of modelling and reservoir simulation for CO2 storage and to address explicitly the role of models and reservoir simulation in supporting risk assessment and risk management for CO2 storage reservoirs.

The purpose of modelling geological reservoirs for CO2 storage is to predict the long-term movement of CO2 in the reservoir under various assumptions about future conditions. Reservoir models and simulation of reservoir response to induced changes in fluid flow is a well-established tool in oil and gas production, ground water management, and deep hazardous waste injection for predicting the behaviour of aquifers and oil and natural gas reservoirs including:

Modelling of CO2 storage reservoirs and simulation reservoir behaviour is likewise an important tool for addressing key issues related to the geological storage of carbon dioxide, which include:

The workshop consisted of six sessions focusing on the following topics:

1) current models/ reservoir simulators that can be used to simulate long-term geological CO2 storage;
2) modelling for site characterization and potential CO2 trapping mechanisms;
3) modelling and management of CO2 injection operations;
4) modelling and long-term carbon dioxide storage;
5) modelling and risk assessment;
6) data, monitoring, and model verification;

These were followed by a discussion of next steps and a panel discussion. There were approximately 60 participants including: EPA staff from various offices including EPA Regional representatives; US Department of Energy (DOE) staff from the Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL); experts from national labs including Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Argonne; researchers from various universities, including Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Texas, Austin; industry experts and consultants from BP, Chevron Texaco and other private firms; and representatives from State and Canadian provincial regulatory agencies.

The workshop identified research needs and considerations for use of modelling, or other analytical tools, to improve site selection and ensure protection of human health and the environment. An article to follow in the next issue of Greenhouse Issues (number 79 in September 2005) will include the outcome and conclusions of the meeting.

For more information contact Anhar Karimjee by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Back to top

Enhanced Coal-Bed Methane Test at South Qinshui Basin, China

By Sam Wong, David Law and Bill Gunter, Alberta Research Council

The Alberta Research Council (ARC) of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and its associated consortium members including Sproule International Ltd., Computer Modelling Group Ltd., SNC Lavalin Inc., Computalog, CalFrac Well Services Ltd. and Porteous Engineering have successfully completed a single well micro-pilot test in the hjosir rank anthracitic coal at the south Qinshui basin, Shanxi Province, China. 192 metric tonnes of liquid CO2 have been injected into a single coal seam in 13 injection cycles. A good set of field data was collected. The injection-production behaviour has been successfully history matched using a tuned reservoir model incorporating the ARC permeability model in the Computer Modelling Group’s GEM simulator.

Figure 1: Location of micro-pilot testFigure 1: Location of micro-pilot test


j78ecbmf2Figure 2: History match of micro-pilot test data (Example:well bottom-hole pressure)

The project in China is called “Development of China’s Coalbed Methane / CO2 Sequestration Technology”. This project is one of the projects selected by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to be funded under the Canadian Climate Change Development Fund (CCCDF). The goal of CCCDF is to contribute to Canada’s international objectives on climate change by promoting activities in developing countries that seek to address the causes and effects of climate change, while at the same time contributing to sustainable development and poverty reduction. The Chinese partner is the China United Coalbed Methane Company (CUCBM). This Canadian $10 million project is funded 50% from CIDA and 50% from the Chinese Government through the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

One of the objectives of the Project is to perform up to three micro-pilot tests at three different coal beds in China. The micro-pilot single well huff and puff test approach to coalbed reservoir evaluation has three primary goals. The first goal is to accurately measure data while injecting into and producing from a single well. The second goal is to evaluate the measured data to obtain estimates of reservoir properties and sorption behavior. The third goal is to use calibrated simulation models to predict the behavior of a larger scale pilot project or full field development. The first micro-pilot test was performed on a test well at the south Qinshui basin in Shanxi Province (Figure 1).

Figure 1

This well is the structurally hjosirest well of all nine wells in the field and is the original well drilled and production tested before any of the other wells were drilled. Based upon the field production data, this well has commingled production of 289 000 m3 of gas and 23 900 m3 of water from two coal seams (#3 and #15 of the Carboniferous Permian Shanxi Formation) starting in March, 1998. However, the well was shut-in for a substantial amount of time from March 1999 to January 2001. The gas to water ratio has steadily increased after the well was put back on production, producing 30 to 40 m3 of water per day. It was determined that most of the water is coming from a water wet sand just above the lower coal seam. The lower water sand was isolated prior to initiating the micro-pilot by setting a bridge plug just below the #3 coal seam. The completed # 3 coal seam has a net thickness of 6 meters and lies at a depth of approximately 500 metres.

Before the injection of CO2, the well was put on production for 60 days and a set of baseline data was collected. Injection of CO2 started on 6th April 2004. Zhongyuan Oil Field supplied the liquid CO2 and its transport. It also furnished personnel to perform the injection using a pump skid designed by and commissioned by the ARC. The liquid CO2 was injected at an injection pressure, which was less than the fracturing pressure of approximately 7 MPa (g) (1 000 psig). 192 metric tonnes of CO2 were successfully injected into #3 coal seam through 13 injection cycles, each cycle based on injecting one truck load of CO2. Each injection cycle was a daily cycle of injection and soak. A slug of 13 to 16 metric tonnes of CO2 was injected each day. The evaluation of the shut-in / fall-off data during the soak period between injection cycles was performed using the ARC/Tesseract well test software, which can evaluate well test data, where the permeability is varying as a function of the changing reservoir pressure. CO2 injection was completed on April 18. The well was shut-in for an extended soak period of about 40 days to allow the CO2 to come to equilibrium with the coal.

The well was placed on production from June to July. This portion of the micro-pilot was the most important as the production rates and gas composition data were required to estimate the sorption behaviour and to calibrate a reservoir simulator to predict the behaviour of full-scale pilots and full-field development. A number of operational problems were experienced during this stage, and these were successfully resolved. For example, sections of the tubing burst and were replaced; the down-hole pump was plugged and was pulled and cleaned; and the wireline gauges failed and were replaced with self-contained gauges. A final shut-in test was carried out to obtain estimates of reservoir properties and near-well conditions. The well was shut-in on 2nd August 2004. The self-contained pressure gauges were retrieved on 16th August 2004. The field operation of micro-pilot test #1 was successfully completed.

The current average reservoir pressure of the #3 coal seam was 1 241 kPa(a) (180 psia) at a depth of 472 m. The absolute permeability of the coal seam prior to CO2 injection was 12 md, which was based on an effective permeability of gas of 2 md and a gas saturation of 40.8 percent. A total of 192 metric tonnes (103 611 Sm3) of CO2 were injected into the formation. A preliminary analysis suggested that the injectivity to CO2 deceased but was stabilized during the injection of the 13 slugs of CO2. The composition of the gas on initial flow back after CO2 injection was 70% CO2 and 30% methane. After one month of production, the CO2 has dropped to 45% and the methane has risen to 55%. The set of estimated reservoir parameters from the micro-pilot test were used in history matching using a tuned reservoir model incorporating the ARC Permeability Theory. Based on this analysis, CMG’s GEM numerical simulator has been validated based on the history match of the micro-pilot test results and is currently being used to predict multi-well pilot tests and commercial-scale field operation performance. Prediction of initial performance shows significant production enhancement of CBM while simultaneously storing the CO2. The next stage is to plan and implement a multi well pilot at the site to validate the performance predictions and demonstrate the CO2-ECBM technology.

Figure 2: History match of micro-pilot test data (Example: well bottom-hole pressure)
In the expectation that the multi-well pilot will confirm the performance predictions, simultaneously a search for suitable large industrial CO2 sources is being made. Of specific interest, is the Sihe coal mine site 30 kilometers to the south in a CMM ADB funded project where CBM is being produced from the same anthracitic coal seam (see later article in Greenhouse Cuttings section). The CMM is planned to be used to fire a 120 megawatt power plant, The World Bank has agreed to purchase the CEM credits. If the CO2 could be captured economically and shipped to the site 30 km to the north and used for CO2-ECBM, additional CEM credits could be generated. Other CO2-ECBM sites have not been ruled out; and currently alternative sites are being examined near CO2 sources in the Ordos Basin immediately to the northwest of the Qinshui Basin. Additonal funding is being sought for these opportunities.

For further information contact Bill Gunter - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top

EnergyINet Officially Launched

On 16th March 2005, the Energy Innovation Network (EnergyINet) was officially launched in a webcast and media event in Calgary, Alberta, and Ottawa, Ontario. This Canadian organization is the result of more than two years of work and discussions with industry, research organizations and governments to develop an integrated approach to energy and environmental innovation. While based in Canada, EnergyINet recognises that its innovation programs and work reach beyond its own borders, and Program Directors are currently building their own Global Advisory Committees, which will include technical, research and industry experts from around the world to help it meets its vision of “an abundant supply of environmentally responsible energy, creating economic prosperity and social well-being for Canadians.” EnergyINet has developed six integrated Innovation Programs:

In addition to the work in each Innovation Program, EnergyINet is working to bring groups together to not only figure out how to produce more energy to meet the world’s growing appetite for energy, but how to use our resources better. As many people realise, there are significant barriers to overcome, and incremental improvement is not sufficient. EnergyINet sees three things that must come together to bridge the gap that often exists between applied research and the innovative use of that research to produce commercially viable products, processes or services.

To view more information about EnergyINet, go to In addition, you can sign up for EnergyINet updates at

Finally, EnergyINet has released its May 2005 edition of “EnergyINet Innovation”, and this newsletter is available at EnergyINetInnovation-May2005.pdf

Back to top