To address the pressing issue of climate change, countries and companies are committing to “net zero” goals. Yet, at the same time, fossil fuels will continue to be an essential part of the energy mix for years to come, as the transition to low carbon energy sources progresses. This means that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will be of great importance in mitigating CO2 emissions.


According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), up to 310 Mt of new CO2 storage are required per year by 2030 to adhere to the Paris agreement. However, current capacity is only 40 Mt CO2 per year (IEA, 2020), and the rate at which new capacity is being developed falls far short of what is required to meet a sustainable development pathway.

Many more CO2 storage sites must be identified and characterized, and this work needs to begin now if we are to meet climate goals. It is commonly accepted that saline aquifers will contribute a large proportion of required CO2 storage in the future. They have a vast capacity and are more widely geographically distributed than depleted oil and gas fields. With an increasing demand for effective storage of emissions, it is imperative that these targets are identified quickly and cost effectively.

To accelerate the process, we can leverage technology, expertise, and workflow solutions from the oil and gas industry. Neftex® Predictions, a DecisionSpace® 365 solution, is built upon decades of experience in gathering, attributing, and interpreting vast amounts of data to characterize the subsurface and predict the potential for hydrocarbon accumulations. These integrated multi-disciplinary workflows have been adapted to the critical aspects of predicting the potential for safe CO2 storage.

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Adapting screening workflows for a new challenge – While the concept of exploration for saline basins is relatively new, the fundamental properties of a suitable storage site share many of the same characteristics as a suitable hydrocarbon reservoir. Saline basin formations are porous rock units that contain brackish water. A suitable saline basin reservoir for CO2 storage needs to be sealed by an impermeable caprock to secure the CO2.

Executing regional scale screening and estimating yet-to-store volumes – Our projects focused on the criteria that could be screened rapidly on a regional to basin scale, assisting preliminary site selection, which can then be used to focus attention for generating yet-to-store volumes for fairways of interest. This was done via a three-stage process. Following stage one, the regional scale screen, it was possible to produce a global output that highlighted potential areas that would be suitable for saline basin storage. To test the validity of this stage of the screening, the results were intersected with existing and proposed carbon storage sites in Europe and 90% of these storage sites fell within “likely” or “probable” areas, as predicted by the first stage of screening.

Target modelling and site selection – The next stage was to undertake in-depth target modelling, which can be conducted using CO2 Storage, a DecisionSpace® 365 solution. This can help us understand the injection and behaviour of CO2 in the subsurface. This toolkit was specifically developed to characterize the subsurface and enable suitable site selection for the safe and effective long-term storage of CO2.

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