AG-849 Geological Constraints on CO2 Storage (5 ECTS)

Carboniferous and devon (red) rocks in Billefjorden. Photo: Snorre Olaussen/UNIS

Autumn semester (August), annually. Cancelled 2021
5 ECTS with AG-349, AG-341/841
Letter grade (A through F)
Articles, book chapters and compendia, ca. 250 pages.
10/20 students (AG-349/849 in total)
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
April 15, 2022

UNIS contact person: Kim Senger

Course requirements:

Enrolment in a PhD program in geology, geosciences or petroleum geotechniques. The applicant must have documented relevant field experience.

Academic content:

With large capacity to store CO2 offshore, Norway has an important role for the implementation of CCS on large scale in Europe. The offshore storage capacity has recently been mapped by NPD and published in the Norwegian CO2 storage atlases. One Atlas has been devoted to mapping storage capacity in the Barents Sea shelf. Possible storage reservoirs in the Barents Sea have undergone a complex story of burial and uplift, and many candidates are of limited extent, tight, fractured and with sealing or leaking faults.

Svalbard offers a 3D window into the Barents Sea reservoirs and provides excellent field sites for studying the typical Barents Sea carbonate and siliciclastic reservoir and seal rocks.

Learning outcomes:

Students will get an introduction to the Longyearbyen CO2 storage laboratory and an overview of the regional and local Svalbard geology. This includes large-scale tectonics, main structural elements, and carbonate and siliciclastic sedimentology. The students will then get an introduction (update) to field geology and field methods. The main part of the course will be field excursions at various locations in the Billefjorden area and Deltaneset, studying structural elements and CO2 reservoir/seal characteristics. The students will finally learn work with Petrel and possibly printed maps to assess the storage capacity of selected North Sea or Barents Sea reservoirs.

Upon completing the course, the students will have knowledge of:

  • understanding storage plays (reservoir and seal systems)
  • how to assess reservoir-seal quality from field observations
  • factors to consider when assessing the CO2 storage potentials in the Barents Sea and Svalbard
  • challenges of CO2 storage in deeply buried and fractured rocks.

Upon completing the course, the students should be capable of:

  • understanding the main features of the Svalbard and Barents sea geology in a CCS perspective
  • evaluating the reservoir-seal system from regional and local maps and field observations
  • calculating the storage capacity based on geophysical information and surface maps.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will have learned:

  • how to assess the quality of reservoir and seal rocks from field observations
  • how to prepare a field report
  • how to work in a team/group
  • how to present the work as a part of a team

Learning activities:

The course extends over 2,5 weeks and is run in combination with AG-349.

Lectures include:

  • introduction to Longyearbyen CO2 laboratory and local/regional geology
  • fault analyses/photogrammetry
  • how to use geophysical information and maps to assess CO2 storage capacity.


  • reservoir-seal system carbonate and siliciclastic reservoirs (structural elements, reservoir quality, local-regional extent of reservoir).

Laboratory work:

  • analysing geophysical data and maps using printouts and/or computer exercises using Petrel to assess storage capacity of selected reservoir-seal systems
  • core logging.

Group work:

  • Students will work in groups to solve specific topics to be decided, and each student will build on this in their individual final reports.

Total lecture hours: 13 hours.
Total seminar hours: 8 hours.
Total exercise hours: 8 hours.
Total post-course work: 20 hours.
Field excursions: 3 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

All excursions and fieldwork.

All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to be registered for the final assessment.


Method Percentage of final grade
Individual oral presentations related to article collection (approx. 100 pages) 20%
Group presentation related to fieldwork 10%
Written report 70%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.

Application deadline: 15 April 2022


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The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Student inquiries:
E-mail: /
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454


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