The end of the drilling

The end of the drilling

Top image: The rig set up in Adventdalen for drilling hole number 4 in August 2009. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS. 

Longyearbyen CO2 lab finalized the drilling operations of drill hole 4 last Friday, reaching a depth of 969, 8 meters. A reservoir of porous sandstones has been identified and injectivity proven. Director of UNIS, Gunnar Sand, says that the path now is open to demonstrate the carbon capture and storage value chain in Longyearbyen.

1 December 2009
Text: Eva Therese Jenssen

Longyearbyen CO2 lab finalized the drilling operations of drill hole 4 on Friday 27th November 2009 at 12.00. The well reached a total depth of 969, 80 meters.

The drilling has been a success, in that all targets of the drilling have been reached:
1) Drilling through the reservoir section.
2) Bring up core of sandstones from the reservoir.
3) Confirming injectivity of the sandstones in the reservoir section on 770 – 970 m depth.

– The path is open to demonstrate the carbon capture and storage value chain in Longyearbyen, UNIS director Gunnar Sand, said yesterday to the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK).

The next step is to conduct extended injection tests, in order to measure injectivity over longer periods of time.

The project group will continue the analysis of the research material from the well into 2011. Key questions that will be addressed are flow rates of the water and CO2 into the rocks and total storability of the reservoir.

Future steps
The next step is to start preparing for extended injection tests, allowing to measure injectivity over periods of weeks and months. This program will carry through 2010.

The UNIS board visited the drill site this weekend and was informed about the results. Board members expressed satisfaction about the project reaching its initial targets. They were excited about the plans for the next steps.

The community of Longyearbyen in Svalbard is an ideal location for testing technologies related to carbon capture and storage (CCS). Longyearbyen is a closed energy system, it has a coal fuelled power plant, and its geological structures are suited for storing CO2.

UNIS has taken the initiative to use these natural advantages to turn Longyearbyen into a show case, demonstrating the CO2 value chain. It’s the ambition of UNIS to develop high level educational courses as part of the project.

A motivation for the project is the global need for CO2 injection test sites. We need to know more about storability, methods and risks of subsurface storage. Svalbard’s environmental standing and global attention, with numerous high profile visitors every year, substantiate the ambition to become a globally recognized “green” show case.

The first step of the CO2 lab has been to identify saline aquifers where CO2 can be stored. Three wells were drilled in 2007 and 2008 which cored the cap rock and upper reservoir. Seismic assessments have later been added.

The fourth well was drilled this autumn to verify the storage capabilities of the sandstones.

A number of partners from industries and the academic world have joined the effort: StatoilHydro, ConocoPhillips, Statkraft, Gassnova, Sintef, the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), NTNU, Store Norske, LNS and CIPR (University of Bergen).

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