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.



D3.9 Integrated data platform for multisource multiscale sensor data

The SECURe project has used, produced and analysed a vast amount of data in a wide range of formats, types. Like in many other data-intensive applications, users and researchers are accustomed to certain workflows which often do not explicitly consider other possible usages of the same data. In this report, we propose a systematic way of collecting data and (meta)analyse it and apply it to the data produced within the project. This is to provide a long-lasting legacy for the project.

D3.8 Report on long-term post-operational monitoring of Ketzin (CCS) and Polish (shale gas) sites

The report presents a history of baseline assessment and environmental monitoring on CO2 pilot injection site and three former shale gas exploration locations. A scope of baseline assessment, process monitoring as well as plans and long term environmental monitoring activities in each case are presented. The results of field work and observations done within the SECURe project on former shale gas exploration well sites are described. 

D3.7 Guidelines for common strategies in gas storage and exploitation baseline assessment and monitoring

The report presents an overview of baseline assessment and environmental monitoring on three selected study sites, comprising a CO2 pilot injection site, an acid gas storage site and a gas seeping site as natural analogue of gas leakage from shale gas formations. Key findings with focus on spatial criteria of the deployed monitoring methodologies and generic requirements for the baseline assessment are given.

D3.6 Report on integrated multi-tracer fingerprinting of gas and fluid migration in groundwater in relation to shale gas exploration and carbon storage

Understanding the environmental risks of new deep subsurface geoenergy activities such as onshore unconventional hydrocarbon operations and carbon capture and storage (CCS) is important to minimising the risks and ensuring maintenance of safe systems.

This report details some of the most useful trace-element and isotopic tracers for use in investigations to develop understanding of fluids in the deep subsurface, using 4 case studies. The studies suggest that a combination of chemical and multi-isotope tracers is likely the most effective way of identifying fluid provenance and tracing pathways but the most valuable tracers are likely to vary and be site-specific.

D3.5 Report on state of the art and new developments for defining the seismic baseline for gas storage and exploitations

Since the end of the 1990s, several unconventional hydrocarbon production operations and geological CO2 storage projects have taken place in different countries with various monitoring plans. In order to realise an effective monitoring plan a baseline must be established – which has been carried out with varying degrees of success using different methods. This report therefore:

  • Analyzes the most pertinent case studies using published documentation to assess the effectiveness of the baseline
  • Sets up a list of recommendations for future active/passive seismic baselines based on the experience gained from these case studies

D3.4 Downhole monitoring as part of Environmental Baseline Assessment for Carbon Storage and Shale Development

The report includes as a first section a bibliographical overview of what has been done for downhole monitoring to sample water and gas phases in experimental, pilot and demonstration projects worldwide. The second section of this reports benefits from field investigations performed during the activity of the SECURe project, with specific focus on deep sampling operations performed at depths greater than 1000 m.

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.