Institute of Petroleum Engineering

CO2 Leakage Prevention Method: introduction

Long-term storage of large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) in underground geologic formations (aquifers or hydrocarbon reservoirs) is viewed globally as a major mitigation strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and to combat global warming. The risk of leakage from CO2 storage sites is recognised as one of the most challenging issues associated with the large scale implementation of geologic sequestration of CO2. Uncertainties in characterizing a geologic reservoir and the current lack of a complete understanding of possible interactions between rock and fluids involved in CO2 storage have resulted in concerns over contingent leakages.  Public perception of geologic storage of CO2 has been adversely affected by the concerns over potential hazards of CO2 leakage.

The objective of the CO2 Leak Prevention JIP (Joint Industry Project) at Heriot-Watt University is to develop an innovative and unique CO2 leak prevention technique to automatically detect and effectively seal CO2 leaks from both known and unknown leakage paths in geological reservoirs. We have developed a self-diagnosis and self-sealing leakage prevention method that takes place in-situ and at the exact location of the leak without the need for identifying the leak target area and without any external intervention.

Proposed method schematic