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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

News

ETI funded project on impact of removing brine from potential undersea carbon dioxide stores

(23 March 2016)

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a new project, which will study the impact of removing brine from undersea stores that could, in future, be used to store captured carbon dioxide. ETI will invest £200,000 in the nine-month “Impact of Brine Production on Aquifer Storage” project, which will be carried out by Heriot-Watt University in partnership with Element Energy, T2 Petroleum Technology and Durham University. Dr Simon Mathias, Earth Sciences, is leading the Durham University part of the work.

Although the Government recently announced it was not continuing with its £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) its view is that CCS can still play a potential role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK energy system.

This latest ETI project will build on earlier CCS research work and help develop understanding of the potential CO2 stores, such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers, located beneath UK waters. It will also help to build confidence among future operators and investors for their operation.

An earlier ETI CCS project led to the development of the UK’s principal storage screening database, CO2Stored, which estimates the capacity and injectivity for each of an identified 550 stores off the UK’s coast. As part of the analysis one of the assumptions was that brine was not produced from the reservoir store before, during or after CO2 injection.

However, if pressure builds within a store as a result of CO2 injection then brine can potentially be removed from the store through a purpose-built well or wells to depressurise it whilst still retaining the store’s operation and integrity.

Find out more about the ETI CCS work.

Find out about research into Geo-energy, Resources and Waste at Durham University.