Geological CO2 storage in Svalbard – is it feasible?

Geological CO2 storage in Svalbard – is it feasible?

Top image: Kim Senger on fieldwork in Svalbard in July 2011. Photo: Kei Ogata/UNIS. 

UNIS external PhD candidate Kim Senger will defend his PhD thesis entitled “Impact of Geological Heterogeneity on CO2 sequestration: from outcrop to simulator” at the University of Bergen on 16 December 2013.

13 December 2013
Press release from University of Bergen and UNIS

Kim Senger’s thesis is part of an ongoing effort examining the feasibility of storing CO2 in the subsurface below Longyearbyen in Svalbard.

Svalbard is currently being considered as a possible CO2 storage site, in which the CO2 would be sourced from the local coal-fuelled power plant and stored in the subsurface beneath the settlement of Longyearbyen. Senger’s thesis addresses the description and characterization of the reservoir target for CO2 injection using a range of methods.

The targeted reservoir presents a number of unusual challenges: Located at 700-1000 m depth, it was found to be under-pressured and segmented into different pressure compartments, possibly by igneous intrusions; water injection tests indicate that flow inside the reservoir is entirely controlled by natural fractures which require precise characterization in order to forecast how the injected CO2 will move once injected into the reservoir.

Through a number of scientific papers the dissertation covers aspects of both the regional-scale geological heterogeneity (i.e. igneous intrusions) and small-scale geological heterogeneity (i.e. natural fractures) and how they can be characterized, analyzed and implemented in dynamic reservoir models used to predict gas- and fluid flow in the subsurface.

The scientific results from Senger’s thesis have provided important input to the ongoing research effort into CO2 sequestration in Svalbard. In addition to the scientific work, Kim Senger was also heavily involved in the production of “Arctic Adventures of Dioxy”, an animation introducing the concept of CO2capture and storage in Svalbard to the general public.

During the three-year PhD project, Kim Senger was primarily affiliated with the Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research in Bergen, but has spent much of the time as an external PhD student at UNIS. The thesis builds on an extensive field data set collected around inner Isfjorden during numerous campaigns in both spring and summer. In addition, much of the reservoir modeling was undertaken in the seismic data lab in the Arctic Geology department at UNIS.

The project was financed by the Norwegian Research Council’s CLIMIT programme (“GeC project: Geological input to carbon storage”), with fieldwork in Svalbard funded by the Svalbard Science Forum. Work was undertaken in close collaboration with the UNIS CO2 lab AS.

Kim Senger

Kim Senger. Photo: UNIS

Kim Senger will defend his thesis on 16 December 2013 at 12:15 in Allégaten 41, Bergen, Norway. A trial lecture on a given topic (“Monitoring leakage from CO2 sequestration sites: State of the art and experiences from ongoing projects”) was held on 21.11.2013 at the University of Bergen.

About the candidate:
Kim Senger was born in 1984 in Praha, Czech Republic. In 2006 he attained a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2009, he attained a MSc degree from the University of Tromsø, Norway. In 2010 he started as a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen and UNIS.

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