Its our world
News from CCS TLM - July 2012
CCS TLM Limited, together with its parent company Tractebel Engineering, is a provider of integrated, expert consultancy, engineering and advisory services to the emerging Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) sector.
In this issue:

Stanford University professors Zoback and Gorelick have recently published an article on induced seismicity of CO2 storage (Zoback MD and Gorelick SM, Earthquake triggering and large-scale geologic storage of carbon dioxide, PNAS 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1202473109). The article casts doubt on the large scale deployment of CO2 storage and attracted much attention in the press. The authors claim that large scale injection of CO2 would likely trigger earthquakes which could threaten the seal integrity of the storage site. Although there is no data on earthquakes caused by CO2 injection, the authors referred to evidence from waste water injection. Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) and Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) have all commented on the paper countering the statement of Zoback and Gorelick.


According to CATF, CO2 injection projects (including EOR) worldwide have not reported any significant induced seismicity and there is not enough data to construct models to link earthquakes to CO2 injection and they believe that there is huge offshore capacity in the USA (500 billion tons to 7.5 trillion tones (NETL) of CO2 storage capacity) where these formations are not prone to seismic activity (according to Zoback and Gorelick).


PTRC gives the example of Weyburn in North America where 21 million tons of CO2 have been stored safely. In Weyburn they observed only very small magnitude seismic activities and they did not observe any fault reactivation or creation.


Stuart Hazeldine from SCCS acknowledges that the Earth's crust is critically stressed and it is difficult to predict the size and timing of earthquakes, but seismic monitoring of CO2 storage sites can detect any seismic activity. As the radius of pressure increase is much larger than the radius of CO2 plume, the monitoring should apply to the radius of pressure increase. However, the pressure radius could be managed by producing water or oil to create space for the CO2.


The important question is "how much CO2 will leak if an earthquake occurs?" According to Zoback and Gorelick, induced earthquakes will form open fracture pathways and the injected CO2 will leak to the surface. As Hazeldine points out, this is unlikely to occur because the new fault needs to intersect the caprock above the free CO2 level and therefore the fault has to occur within the radius of physical CO2 trapping.


If CO2 leaks to surface it will be a localized leak and can be easily identifiable and remediated in a process similar to oil well blowouts. Moreover, more than half of the injected CO2 is likely immobile due to residual saturation effects. CO2 retention increases further with time by dissolution of CO2 in water.


All the authors agree that seismic factors must be considered in the planning and permitting process, however the current evidence does not suggest that the risk is significant.


If you have questions regarding geological storage of carbon dioxide, then please contact us by email or by calling us on +44 (0) 203 463 8529.   

Ozgur Gundogan, Reservoir Engineer
Statement references and links included with kind permission from Clean Air Task Force, PTRC and Professor Stuart Haszeldine of SCCS, Edinburgh University.  To read any of the statements follow the links in the article or click here.

NER300: Commission takes stock of project selection


The European Commission has published interim results of the selection process under the first call for proposals of the NER300 funding programme for innovative low-carbon technologies. With the bulk of the project selection work completed, the technical document takes stock of progress and includes preliminary lists of candidate and reserve projects that could be awarded co-funding.


The Commission will formally ask Member States to confirm the projects and national co-funding in early October 2012, with a view to finalising its funding decisions by the end of this year.


To read the full article, click here



Limited places remain on our 'Carbon, Capture and Storage: A Field-Based Masterclass' taking place on 4-6 September 2012 in Dorset, is being conducted in conjunction with AGR TRACS Training who provide technical and commercial training courses to the oil and gas industry and Dr Bryan Lovell OBE. 


The Field-Based Masterclass in Dorset combines the specialised team from AGR TRACS with the academic excellence of NCCCS and the full value chain experience of the CCS TLM team.  The course is unique all-encompassing training experience combining classroom sessions, case studies and field visits. 

Delegates will follow the path of carbon from extraction from ancient rocks in the subsurface, through eager use by us, to capture and safe storage back in those same rocks.  The course will study the spectacular exposures of rocks and real oilfield facilities and data, set in the demanding financial and legal framework of a World Heritage site. Participants will be supported by tuition in the technical essentials as they work through the logic of a full CCS scheme.  For full information, click here.


Our next 'Simplifying CCS' course is scheduled for  17-18 October 2012 in Calgary, and is being supported by Calgary Economic Development. For full information, click here.

More dates are planned throughout 2012 in various locations.  We will keep you updated through this newsletter, alternatively please keep checking our website for more details.

Courses are undergoing endorsement by the Geological Society and are supported by Dr Bryan Lovell OBE, Senior Research Fellow in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge.

Fellows of The Geological Society receive a 10% discount on course fees.


To book your place or discuss your individual or bespoke CCS training requirements, please call +44 (0) 203 463 8529 or email 



Paul Bryant   

Paul Bryant


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