WP3 Baseline monitoring strategies

Scientist pouring dust into a machine
photo credit - BGS@UKRI

Long-term monitoring strategies are considered an integral part of any subsurface geoenergy project. This work package will provide best-practice recommendations to ensure effective approaches to monitoring and regulation for shale gas and geological CO2 storage sites.

The research team will focus their studies on sites in the UK, Canada and Poland in order to develop strategies for environmental baseline assessment, which cover the full project lifecycle – from operational to post operational – and can be applied to different scales of project.

Some of the research sites offer a unique opportunity for planning and testing environmental measurement methods and strategies with regard to long-term impacts of deep wellbore infrastructure and downhole activities.

 

Outputs

D3.3 Report on synergies of environmental baseline strategies for CCS and shale gas plays

This report highlights synergies of environmental baseline strategies for SG and CCS, in relation to groundwater and ground gas. The synergies identified are: i) the design of the sampling network, including the use of pre-existing wells and drilling dedicated monitoring wells; ii) the spatial distribution of the sampling network, to ensure baseline data are collected from all relevant major hydrogeological units at appropriate depths; iii) the selection of geochemical parameters to measure, with consideration of site-specific mineralogy; iv) defining threshold values for geochemical parameters that can be used to identify change and/or potential contamination that may arise from industrial activities; v) strategies for, and challenges of, characterising  retrospectively the environmental baseline for sites where this was not completed before industrial activity began.

Report focusing on best practice methods to establish baseline levels post operational activity (SECURe Report D3.2)

The present report suggests the approach to establish a micro-seismicity post-operational baseline by measuring in similar geology under a similar tectonic regime and compare the undisturbed site with the site in operation. The method might, however, only be applicable in areas with a relative high level of natural seismicity in order to minimize uncertainties in noise levels. The drilling site is approximately 200 km from the gas storage facility, but the geology is similar. Data acquisition will be continued throughout the SECURe project.

Report on addressing methods to establish baseline levels post operational activity (SECURe Report D3.1)

Establishing a baseline for natural seismicity after the start of subsurface operations is no simple task, and best practice methods have yet to be created. In the SECURe project (Subtask 2.1.4.) a microseismic monitoring network has been established around the active natural gas storage facility in the Gassum Formation near Stenlille, Denmark. The approach being developed in SECURe will consist of microseismic monitoring around an active site, while experimenting with instruments in a range of distances from the well/storage facility, between 10 and 100 km, will help to establish best practice.