LOUGHBOROUGH, UK – The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking new partners for a project to study the impact of removing brine from subsea reservoirs in the UK sector used to store carbon dioxide (CO2).
ETI – a public-private partnership between BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce, Shell, and the UK government – will invest up to £0.2 million ($0.314 million) in the nine-month project, which will examine the effects brine production could have on costs, risk reduction, and other issues. The request for proposals will close on Sept. 24.
A previous ETI project led to the development of the UK’s principal storage screening database, CO2Stored, which made various assumptions to estimate capacity and injectivity for each of the potential 550 storage sites identified off the UK’s coast.
One of these assumptions was that brine was not produced from the reservoir store before, during, or after CO2 injection.
If a reservoir store is pressurizing as a result of CO2 injection, brine can potentially be removed through a purpose-built well or wells from the store to depressurize it while still retaining the store’s operation and integrity.
ETI adds that the brine could potentially be sent to another aquifer or disposed of in the sea. Brine production is a recognized way of controlling the reservoir store pressure and potentially its flow and its use would be as a contingency in several store designs.
A recent report from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh showed that producing brine on the United Kingdom continental shelf may be beneficial to injection rates and storage.
The new project will deliver a cost-benefit analysis of brine production, using the CO2Stored database and models developed in the ETI’s UK Storage Appraisal Project as a starting point. Analysis will cover both saline aquifers and oil and gas reservoirs.
The first stage will examine any changes in injectivity and storage capacity as a result of producing brine, the additional cost of using brine wells, and any resultant savings.
If benefits come to light, these will be refined and the operational implications will be examined further.
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