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Aquistore Project Prepares to Enter Second Phase of Eight-Year Life
Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2013

The Aquistore project will demonstrate that storing CO 2 in a deep geological formation is a safe and feasible solution to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Aquistore is part of the world’s first fully integrated, industrial scale CCS project associated with post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide ( CO 2 ) from a coal-fired power plant. Managed by the not-for-profit Petroleum Technology Research Centre, Aquistore builds upon PTRC’s decade of experience from the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale Project, the world’s most extensively monitored  CO 2  injection site.

First of its Kind Research and Monitoring Project

Over the past year Aquistore has gone from a plan to reality. The project’s first phase began in 2012 with the installation of significant project infrastructure and monitoring equipment, including:

  • Two state-of-the-art wells – one for  CO injection and the other for observations and measurements – which were drilled to a depth of 3.4 km outside of Estevan, Saskatchewan.
  • A unique permanent array of seismic monitoring equipment (which allows monitoring of  CO in the storage reservoir at 3.4 km).
  • Additional monitoring equipment, including ground water stations, soil gas equipment, inSAR, GPS stations, and tiltmeters (tools which detect minute ground uplift and changes). These monitoring techniques are in accordance with the CSA Z741 standards for monitoring  CO in the subsurface and provide unparalleled data to experts and researchers. 

As well as providing scientific data and research material, this injection and monitoring equipment provides environmental monitoring and health and safety assurance, which remain priorities of the project.

Challenges Encountered

Aquistore experienced some challenges in the building of this infrastructure, which led to unexpected incremental costs. These costs are being managed over the life of the project, and are to be offset by the transfer of the project’s capital assets and additional sponsorship and research collaborations.

The anticipated transfer of project infrastructure will, as planned, support the ongoing monitoring and research work required for the second phase of the project.

Moving Forward: 2013 and Beyond

Over the summer of 2013, collaborations have been established with organizations in Europe, Australia, and Asia as the project continues to attract new research partners and potential private-sector sponsors.

As injection of  CO approaches, Aquistore will continue to direct the research project, which will provide monitoring to support the operation of the wells and scientific research.

Saskatchewan is leading the world in active CCS demonstration projects. With  CO 2 injection expected in late 2013, Aquistore will enhance global knowledge of geological carbon storage – one very important element of Canada’s energy policy and the goal of reducing GHG emissions to combat climate change. 

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