Novel techniques for seabed monitoring of CO2 leakage and monitoring campaigns based on reservoir, cap rock and overburden migration models.

Lead Research Organisation: Scottish Association For Marine Science
Department Name: Scottish Association For Marine Science

Abstract

The project team with partners from United Kingdom (UK), Greece (G) and Norway (N) proposes to use the Next Generation Technology of metagenomics and bioinformatic, for offshore post injection and long-term monitoring of CO2 storage sites. DNA extracted from seafloor sediments exposed to in situ CO2 release at the Scottish west coast will be analysed and compared to our existing CO2 anomaly signatures from the North Sea. An automatic workflow for fast finding and precise detection of genes associated with prokaryotic CO2 assimilation will be generated. Correlation analysis of geochemical parameters and genetic anomalies in in situ and ex situ CO2 exposed sediments will be made. To be able to estimate the resolution and sampling frequency required for safe long term monitoring of CO2 storage sites, we will calculate the theoretical migration of CO2 to the seabed from a conceptual storage site model with cap rock leakage. Based on this approach we will suggest monitoring campaigns and recommendations for the conceptual storage site model and estimate the monitoring costs. The CCS community needs a technique able to detect deviations from baseline conditions in the seafloor in good time before CO2 migrates from the seafloor into the sea water where pelagic organisms such as fish can be affected.

Planned Impact

The COVERALL proposal replies to the FENCO call on topic 2 "CO2 onshore and offshore monitoring techniques " requesting development of technologies and environmental surveys with the aim to improve our understanding of the required sampling frequency, resolution, methods and costs. The project team with partners from United Kingdom (UK), Greece (G) and Norway (N) proposes to use the "next generation technology" of metagenomics and bioinformatics, for offshore post injection and long-term monitoring of CO2 storage sites. DNA extracted from seafloor sediments exposed to in situ CO2 release at the Scottish west coast will be analysed and compared to our existing CO2 anomaly signatures from the North Sea. An automatic workflow for fast finding and precise detection of genes associated with prokaryotic CO2 assimilation will be generated. Correlation analysis of geochemical parameters and genetic anomalies in in situ and ex situ CO2 exposed sediments will be made. To be able to estimate the resolution and sampling frequency required for safe long term monitoring of CO2 storage sites, we will calculate the theoretical migration of CO2 to the seabed from a conceptual storage site model. Based on this approach we will suggest monitoring campaigns and recommendations for the conceptual storage site model and estimate the monitoring costs. The CCS community needs a technique able to detect deviations from baseline conditions in the seafloor in good time before CO2 migrates from the seafloor into the sea water where pelagic organisms such as fish can be affected.
 
Description This project aims to develop a method for sampling sediment at a carbon capture storage site, and ascertain whether there is a leak of CO2 from the storage site. This type of storage is a method of mediating climate change, and is already used throughout the oil industry during removal of oil from reservoirs. Many of these reservoirs can then be used to store CO2 in supercritical form. However, there are many environmental concerns about the implications of a CO2 leak from these sites into the marine environment. This project has started to ascertain, what happens to the carbon that is released from a leak, and how it affects the biogeochemical functioning of marine systems. In addition, the project has entered the next stage which is to use metagenomics to identify the presence of bacteria that use CO2. It is anticipated that this technique will lead to development of a 'fingerprint' identification which could indicate a CO2 leak from DNA analysis of a sediment sample. To do this, we have developed a laboratory scale testing facility to simulate a leak of CO2 from a storage facility, and intensive sampling (biogeochemical and molecular / microbial) has allowed us to understand the response of natural systems, as well as quantifying ecosystem effects. It is likely that the metagenomics advances will play an important role in future monitoring for carbon capture storage sites.
Exploitation Route Our findings have been presented at national and international conferences, and we have three manuscripts in draft (one has already been invited for submission to Trends in Biotechnology) and a doi exists for a previous draft of this (doi:10.5194/bgd-12-8909-2015). This work is still ongoing on the metagenomics side, and we expect another two papers to follow. We have been contacted by one of the main oil companies (Shell) about using our facilities for future experiments, and are in discussion with a team of scientists from Japan about future collaborations. We are hosting these Japanese visitors at the end of May 2016 for a short intensive sampling visit focused on carbon capture storage monitoring techniques.
Sectors Environment

URL http://www.mn.uio.no/cees/english/research/projects/143935/
 
Description The work has been included in teaching activities on undergraduate and graduate level, both Masters and Doctoral level, as well as an example research are to show visiting scientists and school trips.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Coverall SAMS 
Organisation National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Country Greece 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaborators received substantial support and knowledge exchange in the laboratory set up to simulate large scale experiments, allowing examination of small details and processes that would be missed in a natural in situ study.
Collaborator Contribution The collaborators were able to provide vital knowledge exchange on molecular and microbial research techniques, and additional advice on geological aspects, which are areas of expertise that the SAMS team did not have. These areas of science are vital to ensure the success of this project, as it has a strong multidisciplinary focus.
Impact The multidisciplinary collaboration led to a targeted workshop in Athens in December 2015, to discuss the potential for future funding under the Horizons 2020 programme. In addition, the first paper produced from this collaboration shows how different disciplines (biogeochemistry, geology, microbiology and molecular metagenomics) can answer research questions that a single discipline would be unable to address.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Coverall SAMS 
Organisation University of Oslo
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaborators received substantial support and knowledge exchange in the laboratory set up to simulate large scale experiments, allowing examination of small details and processes that would be missed in a natural in situ study.
Collaborator Contribution The collaborators were able to provide vital knowledge exchange on molecular and microbial research techniques, and additional advice on geological aspects, which are areas of expertise that the SAMS team did not have. These areas of science are vital to ensure the success of this project, as it has a strong multidisciplinary focus.
Impact The multidisciplinary collaboration led to a targeted workshop in Athens in December 2015, to discuss the potential for future funding under the Horizons 2020 programme. In addition, the first paper produced from this collaboration shows how different disciplines (biogeochemistry, geology, microbiology and molecular metagenomics) can answer research questions that a single discipline would be unable to address.
Start Year 2014
 
Description British Council - Newton Fund workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A fully funded workshop (funded by British Council and Newton Fund) was set up through MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland) to bring together researchers and industry partners in Colombia and Scotland. The workshop was hosted in Santa Marta, Colombia, and encouraged direct engagement with Colombian researchers and policy makers, to forge new collaborations and produce international research grants, as well as exchange of students. The workshop itself generated a lot of intense discussion and development of research ideas, and since the workshop SAMS have hosted a visiting Colombian scientist (Dr Alberto Acosta) and there is a research proposal in draft for the Newton Fund.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description MASTS workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A focused workshop, funded by MASTS, to bring together experts in Scotland on identifying the sources of carbon in the marine environment. This linked directly to policy makers, with representation from various government organisations (SNH, SEPA, MSS) to encourage dialogue between researchers and stakeholders. A paper is currently in preparation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description School visit (SAMS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A series of school visits (different sized classes over a day visit) attended SAMS and were shown some of the techniques and experimental methods used - this gave them a chance to ask questions and start a discussion. This has led to more frequent school visits, and new schools visiting SAMS that had not previously been.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Southampton NOC visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An invited talk to discuss the carbon capture and storage work at SAMS in the context of a new working group in the UK, looking at the effects of a simulated CO2 leak in the North Sea. This led to interaction between SAMS and the working group, and guidance for expertise on correct protocol and procedures for many techniques.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015