CO2 Storage: How can CO2 be stored underground and what are the risks?

Report written by our Oslo Office

For effective and safe CO2 storage for the purpose of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), several considerations come into play. Firstly, selecting an appropriate reservoir is paramount, one that minimises the risk of CO2 leakage and is strategically located near existing or planned CO2 transport infrastructure to reduce costs. Ideally, this reservoir should exhibit high porosity and permeability, ensuring a large storage capacity and efficient injection rates. Enhancing storage security involves multiple layers of cap rocks and increasing storage depth. Additionally, a detailed geomechanical assessment of the site is necessary to ensure proper reservoir management, mitigate the risk of compromising the cap rock, and inducing seismic activity. Open-access monitoring and verification mechanisms are crucial not only to guarantee that the CO2 is permanently stored but also to facilitate industry knowledge-sharing and build public confidence in CCS technology. Operators need to evaluate the impact of old wells and faults that traverse the cap rock, as they could jeopardise containment. A competent authority with fit-for-purpose regulation is needed to ensure risks are handled in a responsible way, and at the same time facilitating efficient storing and industry growth.  Lastly, regions with a history of significant seismic activity require particularly careful consideration in CCS implementation.
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