Scalable Automated, Semipermanent Seismic Method for Detecting CO2 Plume Extent During Geological CO2 Injection


Three-component, autonomous, near-surface<br/>receiver array setup (left), and permanently<br/>installed downhole receiver array (right).
Three-component, autonomous, near-surface
receiver array setup (left), and permanently
installed downhole receiver array (right).
University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (UNDEERC)
Website:  University of North Dakota
Award Number:  FE0012665
Project Duration:  10/01/2013 – 10/31/2017
Total Award Value:  $2,999,993
DOE Share:  $2,399,993
Performer Share:  $600,000
Technology Area:  Monitoring, Verification, Accounting, and Assessment
Key Technology:  MVAA: Subsurface Monitoring
Location:  Grand Forks, North Dakota

Project Description

This project with the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) of the University of North Dakota has the primary objective of evaluating and demonstrating novel methods for scalable, semipermanent seismic deployments that can be automated to show where and when a pressure front or CO2 plume passes a particular subsurface location. This concept uses autonomous node-recording instruments with a remote-controlled downhole and repeatable seismic source, in which an introduction of a small percentage of gas to the reservoir may change the character of the reservoir’s seismic reflection in a detectable way. Clever placement of source and receiver may allow the use of the seismic method as a yes/no switch to determine when the CO2 plume or pressure front has moved past a monitored location. Work is performed in North Dakota at the EERC with field work being performed at the Bell Creek field in Montana.

Project Benefits

This project focuses on developing and demonstrating a scalable, automated, semi-permanent, seismic geophysics method for tracking the CO2 plume in the subsurface. Improved seismic methods allow project developers to more confidently and cost-effectively ensure that the storage formation is being efficiently utilized, and the CO2 is permanently stored and improved monitoring will contribute to better storage technology thus reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Specifically, this project will employ a downhole source deployed semi-permanently in combination with a sparse surface receiver array approach to track the CO2 plume edge.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrea McNemar:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Shaughn Burnison:

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