Publications, Reports & Research

Publications, Reports & Research

Aquifer storage: development issues

1st November 2008

Topic(s): Carbon capture, CO2 storage, Use and storage (CCUS)

Earlier studies by IEA GHG had shown that of the main geological storage reservoirs available globally for CO2 storage, deep saline aquifers have the highest storage potential and substantial cuts in CO2 emissions may therefore require utilisation of deep saline aquifers as storage reservoirs. However, the storage capacity of deep saline aquifers from various estimates show wide bounds: from 1,000 to over 10,000 GtCO2 globally. Many of the deep saline aquifers being considered for storage are ‘virgin’ formations and structures in which little or no geological characterisation has taken place, in contrast to many oil and gas fields. Therefore, considerable exploratory work will be required before such structures can be considered as “fit for purpose” for CO2 storage. Selection of safe and secure geological reservoirs must be accompanied by confidence in the associated CO2 storage capacities.

The aim of this study was to bring together and review the research that has been undertaken in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia, to develop an understanding of how knowledge on deep saline aquifers has developed in recent years, in particular since the 2005 IPCC Special Report on CO2 Capture and Storage (IPCC SRCCS). Emphasis was placed on the identification of knowledge gaps and priority areas for R&D activities.

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Aquifer storage: development issues

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