Objectives and Approach

S4CE will develop and deploy complementary, short-term quantifiable objectives:

  • Synergistic experiments and models will be developed and applied to overcome current knowledge gaps in the detection of failure of concrete casings, the quantification, prediction and eventual control of fluid transport pathways in sub-surface rock formations and cement-based materials, in the mechanisms of CO2 fixation, and in the rate and extent of fluid-rock-microbe interactions in subsurface systems.
  • Cutting-edge instruments will be deployed to detect stray gases, differentiate bio-genic from thermo-genic methane, fingerprint fracturing fluids and identify hydrocarbons, CO2 and water fluxes in the sub-surface.
  • Software will be created to integrate continuous data gathering within both a Life Cycle Assessment and a Multi-Risk framework to estimate the lifetime environmental impacts of each sub-surface operations.

S4CE will build on existing international collaborations to integrate its innovative technologies:

  • Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO): The DCO, funded in 2009, has generated one-of-a-kind instruments (e.g., a combination of gas-source mass spectrometers and multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma-source mass spectrometer) able to differentiate between biogenic and thermogenic methane, and it has developed innovative instrumentation for extracting micro-organisms from deep in the sub-surface (the PUSH50).
  • CCS Pilot Project in Canada: S4CE will partner with a pilot project for CO2 injection, led by Husky Oil Operations Ltd. The project started in 2009, and the goal was the assessment of using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in heavy oil reservoirs in the Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • Utica Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratories (USEEL): Prof. David Cole is the scientific director of the Utica Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory (USEEL) led by Ohio State University. USEEL has the objective of ‘providing a long-term field site to develop and validate new knowledge and technology to improve recovery efficiency and minimise environmental implications of unconventional resource development’. USEEL will provide the opportunity of sharing best practice procedures, testing similar technologies on US and EU sites, and comparing the results.
  • Energy and Geoscience Institute (EGI): EGI is the world’s largest University-based global consortium for industry cost-shared upstream research. EGI has produced over 800 reports and geoscience research solutions. Prof. Raymond Levey is EGI’s director. Technical competences of EGI include, but are not limited to shale rock characterization, interpretation of seismic data, geomechanics, petroleum engineering, and fluid inclusions.