Newly developed monitoring technology for CO2 storage in North Sea proves successful

The consortium partners behind the Project Greensand have developed a new monitoring technology that has successfully monitored that the stored CO2 in the North Sea subsoil is at the right location.

Deployment of monitoring tech for Project Greensand (Courtesy of TGS)
Deployment of monitoring tech for Project Greensand (Courtesy of TGS)
Deployment of monitoring tech for Project Greensand (Courtesy of TGS)

Project Greensand’s consortium partners have deemed successful the new seismic monitoring technology developed specifically for the project as frequent seismic monitoring is essential for the safe and permanent storage of CO2.

The new technology ensures more frequent control of the Nini West field in the  North Sea, while at the same time achieving less impact on the environment and climate, the project consortium claims.

A wide range of consortium members are behind the newly developed technology, including the French company SpotLight.

“After the first CO2 storage, it was important for us to demonstrate the efficiency and flexibility of our monitoring solution. Among other things, we did this because we were able to quickly carry out the first monitoring of the reservoir and thereby obtain important information about where the stored CO2 is located in the reservoir.

“The operation was a great success, where we have collected high-quality data with safety and efficiency in mind. This enables Project Greensand to set new standards for CCS surveillance,” said Habib al Khatib, CEO of SpotLight.

To remind, on March 8, 2023, Project Greensand marked a major milestone with the first-ever injection of CO2 in the North Sea.

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In just one month, the consortium partners have carried out a baseline measurement as well as two seismic monitoring measurements of the reservoir 1,800 meters below the seabed and can now conclude that the monitoring technology can safely and efficiently locate CO2 in the sandstone reservoir.

“During the first storage of CO2, it emerged that this method of spot measurement constitutes one of the most important innovative technologies in Project Greensand. We are therefore very pleased to see the technology become a reality with the monitoring and the successful results,” said Andreas Szabados, asset manager Denmark for Wintershall Dea.

The monitoring technology has been specially developed for Project Greensand, and it in itself represents a technological breakthrough.

It works by examining sound movements at carefully selected points on the seabed above the reservoir. By comparing data from the selected points with previous calculations of the design of the reservoir, it becomes possible to say exactly where the CO2 is located in the reservoir and how it moves.

To acquire the seismic measurements, Project Greensand counts on the unique expertise of TGS, which, in addition to providing energy data and intelligence, specializes in equipment and operations for ocean bottom seismic measurements and modular solutions.

“Safety, flexibility and innovation are part of our DNA at TGS. We demonstrate this once again in Project Greensand. Together with our partners, we have shown that three seismic surveys can be performed only a few weeks apart during the North Sea winter season. The operations were extremely efficient and were completed in just a few hours,” said Tone Holm-Trudeng, NES – director Offshore Subsurface Solutions at TGS.

Comparable offshore seismic measurements are traditionally made every few years, but now measurements can be made every few weeks and months, while the local marine environment is less affected.

“At the Danish Technological Institute, we are proud that we have contributed to the development and the first implementation of this effective and frequent monitoring solution.  The environmental footprint is marginal compared to conventional solutions, and it has proven to resonate very well with people,” said Maj Frederiksen, senior project manager from the Danish Technological Institute.