CO2 storage

By 2030, the Netherlands aims to have reduced its CO2 emissions by 55% compared to 1990. Storing greenhouse gases in the deep subsurface is an important part of the Dutch government’s strategy. The first industrial-scale projects have already started (Porthos and Aramis). In the coming years, the Netherlands will lead the way in storing CO2 in depleted gas fields, with the Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN) as an important knowledge partner.

CO2 storage in depleted gas fields below the sea

Around one hundred depleted gas fields under the North Sea are potentially suitable for the storage of carbon dioxide with a total capacity of a billion tonnes. GDN will spend the coming years researching CO2 storage to enable it to become a viable climate mitigation technology option. During these developments, the safety of citizens and the sea’s ecosystem are top priorities. This is why we are researching whether CO2 can be safely stored and whether it will remain where it has been stored. This knowledge will allow us to advise the Dutch government about the order in which the gas fields can be reused as efficiently and cheaply as possible.

Using knowledge about CO2 storage

The research has already led to various industrial-scale applications. In the Porthos project, starting in 2024, four producers will be able to store between two and three million tonnes of CO2 per year in a depleted gas field approximately 20 km off the coast of Rotterdam. This will contribute significantly to achieving the Netherlands’ climate goals, an area in which GDN’s applied research is playing a leading role. Our role is to research the effects of carbon dioxide injection on rock formations. For example, we model the strength of the seal and the behaviour of faults and fractures in the rock. Gaining this knowledge and experience means that international governments and industries will be able to rely on our input.

Storage in aquifers in the deep subsurface

The knowledge we have generated can also be utilised for the storage of carbon in aquifers in the subsurface. As with gas fields, it is possible to store CO2 in the sediment layers of the aquifers. However, since they aren’t ‘empty’ like the depleted gas fields, this process causes the pressure in the aquifers to rise. More detailed knowledge of the geology of these aquifers is therefore needed if we want to use them for the safe storage of carbon dioxide. It is also clear that onshore CO2 storage will increase in importance. Many of the large industries in Central Europe, which produce a lot of CO2 emissions, are too far inland to make the offshore storage of carbon an economically viable option.

Interested in more information? Contact Filip Neele via the blue ‘mail directly’ button below.

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