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Enabling CO2 geological storage in different systems
With a climate neutral industry by 2050 target, several crucial EU industries are pressed now to capture, utilise and/or store the CO2 they emit. Existing oil and gas industry installations which cover large parts of the potential CCUS chain are already in place, and an increasing number of reservoirs have come to the end of their production lifetime and are earmarked as major targets for initiating large-scale storage operations. The existing wells in these assets present both opportunities and challenges. Substantial savings could be realised by re-using these wells as CO2 injectors, monitoring wells, or for water production (pressure management). On the other hand, the existing well infrastructure poses a risk as a potential CO2 or brine leakage pathway. The project REX-CO2 (https://rex-co2.eu/index.html) has developed a publicly available procedure and tools for evaluating the re-use potential of existing hydrocarbon fields and wells. Wellbore aging and remediation solutions have also been experimentally tested during this project. Whilst large storage volume capacity and sustainability has been demonstrated for depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, easy retrievability and purity of CO2 for re-use in these reservoirs is still debated. A viable alternative could come from solution-mined salt caverns. These caverns have been used extensively for the seasonal storage of natural gas. However, the temporary storage of CO2 will include more frequent injection/production cycles and thus, the effects of these increased activity rates on the mechanical stability and cavern lifetime are to be fully understood. Experimental results in the H2020 ConsenCUS (https://consencus.eu/) project aim to shed the light on key points here.