The behaviour of stored CO2 will soon be better understood, with researchers at CO2CRC’s Otway Research Facility at Nirranda South in Victoria having successfully completed well construction and logging as part of a new capture and storage (CSS) project.

This is a key milestone in the new Prediction and Verification of Shallow CO2 Migration Project. The aim of the project is to better understand how CO2 behaves around a geological fault when CO2 is injected and stored deep underground.

The project is being managed jointly between CO2CRC and Geoscience Australia. It involves five of Australia’s leading research institutions as well as international researchers and industry partners.

Two shallow observation wells were installed in late February 2019. A special drill was used to obtain long cylinders of rock, known as core. This core will now be analysed along with formation evaluation logs, to appraise the site and design the CO2 injection location and monitoring program.

The next phase, planned for early 2021, will see the injection of between 10 and 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the deepest well (approximately 126m) and surrounding subsurface. From this test, scientists will observe how CO2 migrates when it meets a fault. The resulting scientific knowledge will be applied in the development of more effective and accurate near surface monitoring techniques for CO2 storage sites worldwide.

CO2CRC is one of the world’s leading CCS research organisations, having invested more than$100 million in research to deliver better and more cost-effective technologies for CCS. As owner and operator of the Otway Research Facility (registered as an Asset of National Significance by the Australian Government), CO2CRC commissions and undertakes research projects with partners worldwide.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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