AAPG/SEG/SPE Hedberg Research Conference
Geological Carbon Sequestration: Prediction and Verification
August 16-19, 2009
Vancouver, BC • Canada
- Hannes Leetaru
Illinois State Geological Survey
- David Lumley
- John Kaldi
CO2CRC, University of Adelaide
- Tip Meckel
Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas-Austin
Over the last few years the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide has evolved from a theoretical concept to multiple ongoing research efforts and several pilot field-test demonstration and commercial applications. The number and scale of these projects is increasing exponentially as this topic has significant economic and political implications both in the US and globally.
Geologic sequestration deals with the injection of CO2 into subsurface formations. Most of these subsurface target reservoirs contain saline water (brine). As CO2 sequestration targets, these saline reservoirs are associated with significant uncertainties for long term storage. The greatest technical uncertainties are the storage capacity, injectivity and long-term reliable containment of CO2. Other significant issues include those related to competing in-situ resources (oil, gas or other economic minerals in the target formation), permitting, safety, liability, and cost. The uncertainty in these issues can be reduced by prediction (before injection) and verification (after injection) of the fate of CO2 in the subsurface.
The three societies, AAPG, SEG, and SPE, are all focused on subsurface reservoir technologies, and were thus the appropriate groups to combine their expertise in developing new insights in the field of geologic sequestration of CO2.
This was a three-day meeting with single-session oral and poster presentations. The emphasis was on invited speakers, and limited oral presentations. Oral papers were aimed to be “overviews” with most of the detailed papers presented as posters with a format designed to optimize discussion. Keynote talks were held each morning, and posters were presented in the early afternoon, followed by another oral session. Informal “break-out” sessions of smaller groups addressed specific topics in the evenings, with outcomes of each break-out summarized the following morning.
The main purpose of this conference was to bring together leading global experts from industry, academia, and government to encourage the exchange of ideas and enhance cooperation on geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. The conference focused on improving the ability to predict and verify the fate of injected CO2 in the subsurface, including plume evolution and leakage risk. It was a natural follow-up to a well attended carbon sequestration initiatives in all three technical societies, including a short course taught in San Antonio during the annual AAPG meeting in 2008. This combined AAPG, SPE, and SEG research workshop covered the significant issues in geological sequestration and discussed in a cross-disciplinary format the best methods for static and dynamic characterization, modeling, monitoring and verification of CO2 movement in the subsurface.
This Hedberg research conference integrated field-test results from CO2 sequestration pilot projects with ongoing research at groups such as IEA GHG, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), CSLF and others. Its intent was to identify research gaps and to propose methodologies to bridge those gaps to develop best practices for geological sequestration of CO2 on commercial scales.