On 15. and 16. January more than 70 scientists came together at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences for the start of the project CLEAN (CO2 Largescale EGR in the Altmark Natural-Gas Field).
Within the framework of the CLEAN-Project the scientific support programme for the injection of CO2 will be carried out in a sub-field of Europe’s second largest natural gas field in the Altmark. The meeting serves to coordinate research activities between 17 national partners from Research Centres, Universities and Industry cooperating in this pilot study which is financed with 15 million Euros by the German Ministry for Education and Research.
In the Altmark an Energy Company, GDF SUEZ E&P Germany Ltd., produces natural gas. To increase recovery (Enhanced Gas Recovery EGR) it is planned to inject CO2 which has been separated from power plant emissions into this sub-field. “This research project investigates how CO2 reacts in an exploited gas reservoir. The impermeability of the reservoirs has been proven over millions of years. However, through the large number of existing production wells, there are increased demands on monitoring, required measurement programmes, numerical simulation of the ongoing surface and underground processes, thus, also on risk assessment” explains the coordinator Dr. Michael Kühn from the GFZ.
South of the town of Salzwedel, the GDF SUEZ has allocated a separated reservoir area for scientific studies in a pilot phase, namely, the sub-field Altensalzwedel within the Altmark gas fields. The overall mass of CO2 will amount to 100 000 tons and will be supplied by the power plant operator Vattenfall. This will, in the first instant, be CO2, that has been separated from power plants: The aim of the project is the long-term and safe storage of greenhouse gas on the one hand and an improved recovery of natural gas at depth on the other hand.
The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences coordinates the scientific support programme, which aims to answer the following questions:
(1) Can CO2 be safely stored on the long-term in deep reservoirs (>3000 m deep) below Zechstein-salts?
(2) How can reliable evaluation procedures for the long-term safety be developed?
(3) Can CO2 which has been separated from power plant emissions be employed to increase the natural gas yield?
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