The Mont Terri Project is an international research project for the hydrogeological, geochemical, and geotechnical characterisation of a clay formation (Opalinus Clay). Clays and clay-rich rocks are of interest for S4CE, because they represent a major component of shale formations and of the sealing units (‘caprocks’) above CO2 sequestration sites.
By partnering with the EU-funded project ‘ELEGANCY’, S4CE will have access to the Mont Terri Underground Rock Laboratory, in Switzerland. Within ELEGANCY, brine with dissolved CO2 will be injected into the fault core of the Opalinus Clay, while acquiring seismic and effluent production data. The drilling operations have completed, and rock samples have been collected. S4CE will complement the transport experiments on the collected samples conducted within ELEGANCY with adsorption/desorption tests at subsurface conditions, as well as pore-characterization studies. It is also proposed to test the Haelixa DNA-based tracers in lab-scale tests, in addition to the more conventional brine tracers that will be used within ELEGANCY. Should the lab tests be promising, it is possible that field testing of the Haelixa tracers will be attempted in Mont Terri.
The rock characterization experiments proposed will be synergistic to those conducted within ELEGANCY.