ecoENERGY Technology Initiative
Aquistore is a five-year, $26.5M research and monitoring project located near Estevan, Saskatchewan, which aims to demonstrate that storing liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground (in a brine and sandstone water formation), is a safe, workable solution to reduce greenhouse gases.
The project is being managed by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in collaboration with several partners from the private sector and academia, and with federal and state funding. PTRC has 10 years of experience managing the Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project, also in Saskatchewan. The research programme also includes input from the Geological Survey of Canada, the universities of Alberta and Saskatchewan and Schlumberger Carbon Services
As well as exploring the scientific and economic benefits of CO2 injection and storage in aquifer systems, it will also provide invaluable data for other initiatives and developers considering similar projects. Aquistore’s primary partner is SaskPower, and their Boundary Dam CCS Project at a coal-fired power plant in the province. Located just a few kilometers from its CO2 source, Aquistore is managing the research, monitoring, and storage work associated with the project.
The monitoring and survey work is designed to refine and improve the techniques and tools used, so that the knowledge gathered through the Aquistore Project may be exported globally to other sites. Aquistore’s monitoring project includes both surface and subsurface monitoring, a unique permanently installed sparse seismic array, groundwater and soil gas sampling, 3D seismic, and two fully instrumented wells. A key function of the Aquistore project is to ensure regulators and the public are informed and engaged at all stages of development.
As of 2013, the project has drilled two wells, an injection well and a monitoring well. Located 150m apart, these two wells will provide real-time data and validation for predictive long-term modeling. These two state of the art wells are the two deepest wells in Saskatchewan, at approximately 3400m. Aquistore begun commercial scale CO2 injection in April 2015.
Analysis of data obtained during injection well drilling in July 2012 began the following month. Baseline seismic work and small-scale injection operations started autumn 2013, building up to a larger-scale second phase from early 2015, after the Boundary Dam capture plant is online.
In March 2012, the project secured funding of $14 million, with the Canadian government pledging $9 million through its ecoENERGY Technology Initiative and $5 million through Sustainable Development Technology Canada. The project has already received $5m in funding from both Sustainable Development Technology Canada and SaskEnvironment’s Go Green Fund.
Other information and press releases
Norm Sacuta, PTRC Communications Manager, 001 (306) 787-7497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aleana Young, Communications Officer, 001(306) 787-0500 or email email@example.com
The research team is focusing on the Deadwood formation, the deepest sedimentary unit in the Williston Basin, and CO2 will be injected at a depth of 3.4km. The southern portion of the Williston Basin had previously been identified as a good geological area to permanently store CO2 due to the substantial number of large regional deep aquifer systems present. The Deadwood formation is an extensive sandstone of variable grain-size. The overlying Winnipeg Formation comprises a lower sandstone, called the Black Island Member, and an upper shale, the Icebox Member, which would form the primary seal to the storage complex.
While these formations are defined as aquifers because they contain water, they do not contain drinkable water, or water that could be used for any agricultural purpose; this water is four to five times saltier than the ocean. These formations cover a vast area in west-central North America. In the area targeted they have no currently identified economic potential, other than as storage units for greenhouse gases.