- ©2001. AAPG/DEG
The member countries of the European Union plan to reduce their CO2 emissions in accordance with the international protocol agreed in Kyoto in 1997. The accepted options for doing this include fuel switching, improving energy efficiency, and the introduction of renewable energy sources. Geological storage of CO2 from fossil fuel use is also an option to reduce CO2 emissions, which does not require major changes in the energy infrastructure. Two projects are now under way in the European Union to study the potential for geological CO2 storage. The first project, known as GESTCO, will assess the potential CO2 storage capacity of the main sedimentary basins within Europe. GESTCO will examine in detail the geological storage potential and coincidence of CO2 emission sources to storage sites. In the North Sea the world’s first commercial geological storage project has now been in operation for 3 years. The natural gas from the Sleipner West field contains about 9% CO2, which must be reduced to 2.5% before sale. The CO2 is stripped by an amine scrubbing plant and then injected into a deep saline reservoir about 800 m below the seabed. To date, about 3 million tonnes of CO2 have been injected. To monitor the storage of CO2 in the reservoir, a project entitled Saline Aquifer CO2 Storage commenced in April 1998.
John Gale has been associated with the energy industry for 25 years, working initially for the British Coal Corporation and more recently undertaking international consultancy work in the energy and environmental sector. He joined the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme last year, and he is now the project manager responsible for managing studies on the program’s activities on non-CO2 greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas abatement in energy-intensive industries, and geological sequestration of CO2. In addition, he represents the program on a number of practical R&D projects such as SACS, WeyburnCO2 Monitoring, and the Alberta CO2ECBM project.
Annette Cutler, a qualified geologist with 28 years of petroleum industry experience, heads a consultancy managing innovation, specializing in project development and management, and emerging and new technology evaluations. Recent client reports include “Surface, Human and Environmental Impact of Underground Gas Storage” and “State-of-the-Art in Europe on CO2 Sequestration to Enhance Coalbed Methane Recovery.” She currently manages the worldwide gas hydrates network group and is leading the development of the European thematic network on CO2 capture and sequestration into geological storage (CO2Net).
Niels Peter Christensen received his M.Sc. in geology from the University of Copenhagen in 1980. Working initially as an exploration geologist with Maersk Oil and Chevron Petroleum, he soon moved into development of the North Sea chalk fields. He joined a petroleum engineering consultancy in 1995, while he was also an associated professor teaching graduate petroleum geology at the University of Copenhagen. In 1990 he became head of the Reservoir Geology Department at the Geological Survey, becoming involved in the concept of geological storage of CO2 in 1994. He is currently international ventures director at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
Tore A. Torp was educated at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Tore received a Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Metallurgical Engineering in 1968 and 1972, respectively. He is employed in research and in steel industry, and since 1984 in Statoil Research. He is presently employed as project manger for the Saline Aquifer CO2 Storage (SACS) project and is corporate advisor for EU research cooperation.