Ensuring storage capacities and cost-effective site characterisation

De-risking site characterisation in order to provide bankable capacity assessments

While offshore storage in Europe will certainly occur underneath the North Sea in large CO2 storage units collecting CO2 through long distance transport infrastructure, onshore CO2 storage in Europe will probably be distributed in many low to medium storage capacity sites close to CO2 emitters. Unless uncertainty on storage capacities onshore is significantly decreased, the cost for site selection reduced and early characterization improved, onshore CCS will not happen. Operators can only engage minimum funds in site investigation before FID (Final Investment Decision) is taken.

However as for all underground related activities, perceived uncertainties are high and the way to reduce them is often expensive: e.g. drilling and seismic acquisition. For new storage projects to be developed and therefore for CCS to be deployed widely, the future site operators need to be able to assess the financial and operational risk taken and therefore need to be able to streamline procedures and reduce the cost whilst improving the reliability of the capacity estimates and the potential cost for reducing uncertainties (exploration). More research is needed to de-risk site characterisation in order to provide bankable capacity assessments that can satisfy stakeholders and investors. To reach this goal, working on datasets from real sites is essential.

This work package aims to:

  • Further investigate potentialities of next-generation ‘high resolution’ reservoir modelling to assess impact of heterogeneities on CO2 storage capacities;
  • Quantify the reliability of storage capacities estimates;
  • Lower characterisation costs through (i) the validation of methodology to optimize exploration program, and (ii) the development of front-end engineering study for low cost drilling.