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Australia's coal-fired power plants produce about 70% of the nation's total installed electricity generation capacity and emit about 190 million t of CO2/yr, of which about 44 million t come from central and southeast Queensland. A multidisciplinary study has identified the onshore Bowen Basin as having potential for geological storage of CO2. Storage potential has been documented within a 295-km2 (113-mi2) area on the eastern flank of the Wunger Ridge using a simplified regional three-dimensional model and is based on estimating injection rates of 1.2 million t CO2/yr for 25 yr. Paleogeographic interpretations of the Showgrounds Sandstone reservoir in the targeted injection area indicate a dominantly meandering-channel system that grades downdip into a deltaic system. Seismic interpretation indicates a relatively unfaulted seal and reservoir section. The depth to the reservoir extends to 2700 m (8858 ft).
CO2 injection simulations indicate that at least one horizontal or two vertical wells would be required to inject at the proposed rate into homogeneous reservoirs with a thickness of approximately 5 m (16 ft) and permeability of 1 d. The existence of intrareservoir shale baffles necessitates additional wells to maintain the necessary injection rate; this is also true for medium-permeability reservoirs. The long-term storage of the injected CO2 involves either stratigraphic and residual gas trapping along a 10–15-km (6–9-mi) migration path and, ultimately, potentially, within updip depleted hydrocarbon fields or trapping in medium-permeability rocks. Trapping success will be a function of optimal reservoir characteristics and the distribution of seals and baffles. This optimization may target specific, as-yet to be determined, permeability ranges.
Jacques Sayers is a geophysicist with 20 years of experience in the petroleum exploration industry and government. He obtained his initial academic training at the University of Tasmania, obtaining degrees in geology and geophysics, followed by a Master's degree in geophysics at the University of Durham. He has more than 20 publications to his name and is presently leading research into CO2 storage.
Cameron Marsh graduated from the Queensland University of Technology (B. App. Sc. [Hons.]) in 1998. He is a petroleum geologist with 7 years of experience in the petroleum industry and government. Cameron is currently employed by Geoscience Australia to identify potential storage sites and has extensive knowledge of Queensland's sedimentary basins.
Adam Scott is a geologist with 5 years of experience in the petroleum industry and government. Adam is a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology (B. App. Sc.) and the Australian School of Petroleum (formerly National Center for Petroleum Geology and Geophysics), part of the University of Adelaide (B.Sc. [Hons.]). He is currently employed by Geoscience Australia to identify potential CO2 storage sites.
Yildiray Cinar is currently a lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Previously, he held various research positions at Stanford University, Clausthal Technical University, and Istanbul Technical University. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Istanbul Technical University and his Dr.-Ing. from Clausthal Technical University, all in petroleum engineering.
John Bradshaw is currently regional group leader of the Petroleum and Marine Division at Geoscience Australia and he has extensive experience in leading CO2 research, including being a lead author on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special volume. He is a geologist by training with a Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales. John also worked with ESSO.
Allison Hennig is a research scientist with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Petroleum. Allison graduated from the James Cook University of North Queensland in 1992, with a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in inorganic chemistry and joined CSIRO in 1993. Her research is currently focused on the development and application of hydrodynamic techniques to the long-term storage of injected CO2 and understanding the impact of dynamic formation water-flow systems.
Stuart Barclay is a graduate of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom (B.Sc. degree in geochemistry), University of Newcastle, United Kingdom (M.Sc. degree in petroleum geochemistry), and Queen's University of Belfast, United Kingdom (Ph.D. in turbidite reservoir diagenesis and geology). He worked as a petroleum geochemist for Robertson Research International Ltd. He then moved to the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (postdoctoral research fellow). He joined CSIRO Petroleum, Australia, in 2001.
Ric Daniel is a research fellow in carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon seals with the Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies at the Australian School of Petroleum, University of Adelaide. As well as investigating seals at potential CO2 geosequestration sites, he is compiling an atlas of Australian and New Zealand hydrocarbon and CO2 seals using mercury injection-capillary pressure, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersion system and x-ray diffraction techniques.