Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

Simulating secure CO2 storage

CO2 capture and storage is a key measure for mitigating climate change. The gas can be pumped into the earth’s crust and deposited in various types of porous rock that is currently saturated with seawater. But how secure against leakage is this practice, and what is the holding capacity of different kinds of rock?

The Norwegian company Numerical Rocks AS has been studying how carbon dioxide moves and becomes “locked inside” the microstructure of sandstone and other rock.

Sealed in by capillary forces

Using computer simulations of two-phase flow (CO2 and water) incorporated directly into three-dimensional images of reservoir rock, researchers and petroleum operators can calculate how gases and fluids either move or get trapped by capillary forces in the tiny hollow spaces (called capillaries) within a porous rock.

Illustration: Numerical Rocks AS The 3D simulation on the left shows the distribution and movement of CO2 in sandstone capillaries under stationary flow conditions. On the right, non-stationary flow conditions (which occur near an injection well) are simulated. (Illustration: Numerical Rocks AS )

The method itself is simple enough, but the data algorithms behind it are extremely complex and require high-performance computational power, explain Thomas Ramstad and Håkon Rueslåtten of Numerical Rocks.

Studying flow in reservoir rock

“We calculate reservoir parameters based on a slow, continuous flow of water and CO2 within the pore system of the rock – and we represent this on a digital, three-dimensional image of the rock,” says Senior Research Scientist Ramstad. “The result is an animated 3D simulation of fluids within the rock, which enhances researchers’ physical understanding of how these substances behave.”

Stationary flow refers to the snail-paced movement of substances, typically just 30 cm per day, which takes place far from the injection well. This flow is controlled by capillary pressure conditions. The CO2 trapped in a rock’s pores by capillary force does not leak out, even if the impermeable rock types above it crack open.

Numerical Rocks is now studying flow under non-stationary conditions – in the immediate vicinity of the injection wells – where the pressure is variable and flow occurs much more quickly.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Technology Centre Mongstad on Norway's west coast is the world’s largest facility for testing and improving CO2 capture technologies. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Useful for petroleum sector

Numerical Rocks is certain that the need for this kind of simulation service will grow.

“Demand will increase as CO2 storage becomes more common,” asserts Håkon Rueslåtten. “There is no doubt this will become a core activity of many major petroleum players.”

The research has received public funding under the Norwegian RD&D CCS programme (CLIMIT), which is administered by the state enterprise Gassnova and the Research Council of Norway.

Numerical Rocks AS is about to complete a merger with the Australian company Digitalcore Pty Ltd. The Norwegian-Australian company will be called Lithicon.
 

 

Related news

Latest news

SAR Celebrates 2nd anniversary in Kuwait

SAR Celebrates 2nd anniversary of operation in Kuwait.

SAR AS Celebrates 30 years of operation!

The history of SAR goes 50 years back to the late 1960s with the company Septik Tank Co. 

Ready to conquer the world with Hansen Protection Helicopter pilot suits

In 2017, for the first time in the history of helicopter sport, the World Cup in Helicopter Races is going to be held. It is going to take place in 7 countries, and starts on Friday April 7th in Konakovo, Russia.

SeaBass Fisherman's Work / Flotation Suit

SeaBass is a waterproof, buoyant work suit for anyone working on or around water.

Improved Surface Rescue Preparedness can Save Lives

A significant part of the Norwegian fire and rescue services lack good apparel for use in surface rescue operations. This can mean the loss of valuable time in rescue operations in water, and experts now call for a change ...

Historical contract for Norwater AS!

The excitement was at its height at Norwater AS in Høylandsbygd on Wednesday last week. The company signed its biggest contract in history, in strong competition with both Norwegian and foreign competitors. The order book ...

Export Credit Norway Finances Production of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Foods in South Africa

Since being founded in 1948, the Norwegian company GC Rieber Compact has developed into a leading supplier of ready-to-use therapeutic foods to customers such as Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, the World Food Progr...

Peru Corporate Day

On 26th September, Oslo Chamber of Commerce will for the first time receive a technological business delegation from Peru to Norway, led by PROMPERÚ.

New contract for delivery of Servogear CPP

The Servogear installation includes CPP propellers,