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Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage – Do you know where your carbon is going?

February 20, 2023

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) is fast becoming an essential CO2 reduction strategy for companies aiming to become Net-Zero carbon emitters in their daily operations. But without a clear understanding of the subsurface, many CCUS operators are left with more questions than answers when it comes to the long-term integrity of their storage reservoir.

In your own CCUS project, how certain are you of the condition and quality of your reservoir, caprock, and basement rock? And do you know if the CO2 you’re pumping downhole is really staying where you want it?

If your answer to these questions is “I’m not sure,” then you’re not alone.

Fortunately, ESG Solutions can help. We’ve been conducting long-term subsurface monitoring operations for 30 years, including CCUS operations. We’re uniquely positioned to give you the insights you need to fully understand any activity within the caprock, reservoir, and basement during your CCUS operations. With these insights you can better ensure that the CO2 you inject goes where it is designed to go, and reliably stays there for the long term.

We deploy multiple monitoring technologies, in various combinations, to address your biggest concerns.

Reduce risk by actively monitoring carbon containment

Microseismic monitoring gives you a deeper understanding of any activity within the caprock, reservoir, and basement as your CCUS operation proceeds. To capture the insights you need, we’ve developed our HybridMonitoring service, which combines the RESMAP™ downhole reservoir monitoring array with our Induced Seismicity Monitoring (ISM) array near the surface. This integrated offering detects both the depth and magnitude of microseismic events with far greater accuracy than either array by itself. With this more complete understanding of subsurface activity caused by CO2 injection, you’re assured safer operations with maximum uptime.

Monitoring fault activation

As your CCUS operation matures and more CO2 is injected downhole, stresses in the reservoir and basement rock will build up over time. To understand these changes, we offer fiber optic systems that acquire Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) strain measurements. While DAS measurements are useful as a supplementary data source, they provide greater depth accuracy of strain events, and a true DAS microseismic measurement, when combined with the Hybrid monitoring solution.

Monitoring for any induced seismicity

Did you know that microseismic events are a routine occurrence in every subsurface formation? This means that your reservoir experiences some low-level, baseline microseismic activity, even before you start injecting CO2. That’s why we recommend establishing this baseline by deploying our ISM array at least six months prior to CCUS startup.

And once CCUS operations have begun, the ISM array passively monitors the subsurface to look for any induced seismic events that exceed the baseline activity. Through our real-time monitoring and reporting services, you get real-time alerts of these events, including their size and scope. Such insights allow you to quickly take the right corrective steps to address the induced seismicity and prevent a potentially dangerous containment failure.

Tracking CO2 plumes and visualizing the CO2 oil front

If our Hybrid monitoring systems are the ears that listen for microseismic and seismic activity in your subsurface, then our surface-based Electromagnetic (EM) Fluid Tracking services are the eyes that visualize how CO2 plumes grow and move over time. And in CO2-assisted enhanced oil recovery (EOR), our EM technology provides up-to-date imaging of the oil-to-CO2 boundary, which helps you adjust the EOR program on the fly to optimize production.

Our EM Fluid Tracking system can be adjusted to take snapshots of CO2 plumes at set intervals. And by integrating the EM datasets with the information from our Hybrid microseismic arrays, you can better understand whether a growing plume is at risk of creating stresses that activate the basement rock.

We are proven in the field

ESG Solution’s subsurface monitoring services are actively deployed on some of the largest CCUS projects operating today. We’re the only monitoring service provider on the Shell Quest project in Alberta, Canada and on two newer projects in the United States.

We’ve been working with Shell Quest since 2014, when we installed eight 15-Hz triaxial geophones in an observation well to establish baseline seismicity prior to injection. As the project progressed, we installed our Hybrid solution to improve seismic event detection and location accuracy across the large injection volume. We’ve also installed our fiber optics for DAS and EM imaging to help Shell visualize the growth of the CO2 plume and measure how strain in the caprock, reservoir, and basement is changing over time. Together, these measurements give Shell a clearer picture of their ongoing operation and provide an early warning of any potential leakage of CO2 out of the reservoir.

As the pace of CCUS projects picks up in coming years, ESG Solutions is ready to deliver the subsurface insights operators need to optimally plan, build, and operate their projects for safe, reliable carbon storage.

Get in touch to discover how ESG Solutions can benefit your industry.

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