Smart Monitoring Crucial for Effective Long-Term Carbon Capture and Storage

Since 1996, the Sleipner field has been used as a facility for carbon capture and storage by Equinor. (Image credit: Equinor)

LYTT, a provider of real-time operational insights to oil and energy operators through a fiber optic sensor and analytics platform, and SINTEF, an independent institute for applied research that creates innovative energy solutions, are collaborating to demonstrate the effectiveness of novel technology to monitor CO2 transport and migration in storage reservoirs.

2 lytt logoCarbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will be a vital tool for keeping global carbon emissions to a minimum and even provide net CO2 removal. This is particularly critical for traditional energy asset owners as they balance their pivotal role in the energy production supply chain with a growing recognition of their power to help mitigate the climate crisis. A key area of focus is demonstrating the permanent effectiveness of CCS solutions.

3 sintef logoAlthough CCS technology has existed since the 1980s, with successful projects such as Sleipner on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (in operation since 1996 and safely storing one million tonnes of carbon annually with no leaks1), CCS is not being as widely or as quickly adopted as it needs to be to support decarbonization. Additionally, as well as offshore, onshore facilities need to be developed, requiring broader trust in the safety of CCS.

SINTEF and LYTT have, through their long-term collaboration, developed and validated the latter’s cost-efficient analytics technology applied to distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) of oil and gas wells. This was based on extensive laboratory testing at SINTEF’s Multiphase Flow Laboratory.

LYTT and SINTEF found tracking dynamic multiphase flow to be a key issue when monitoring the long-term effectiveness of CCS solutions. For underground storage of CO2, understanding the storage site is crucial. However, the collaborators have highlighted that following the journey of CO2 from ground level to storage, such as during injection, is also critical and can be realized through investment in innovative subsurface intelligence gathering tools.

Christian Brekken, Project Manager at SINTEF Multiphase Flow Laboratory, said: “CCS will play an increasingly important role in facilitating a low carbon society as the 2050 deadline draws closer. Working to accelerate the adoption of CCS is therefore a critical piece of the emissions reduction puzzle, and advances in monitoring will help build trust in the technology to pave the way for a net zero future.”

Nils Røkke, Executive Vice President Sustainability, SINTEF, added: “Limiting global warming to well below 2ºC is fundamental for all industries – particularly energy. From current levels, the CCS market must scale by the hundreds by 2050 to help keep the world on track and limit the effects of the climate crisis. Storage capacity will be needed at scale and in different geological settings – both offshore and onshore.”

Tommy Langnes, Co-Founder, LYTT, concluded: “The possibilities of CCS have been opened up due to innovations in oil and gas, which is an industry that has long pioneered the application of new technology. LYTT’s offering centers on a framework of novel fiber optic sensor feature extraction and pattern recognition algorithms which have been industrially proven to help improve operational efficiency, reduce cost and manage risk. LYTT is working to develop a CCS monitoring solution to ensure the integrity and performance of CCS systems, monitor containment and de-risk the process. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with SINTEF to build industry trust in CCS as a permanent climate change solution.”

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