Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from large point sources, such as power plants, gas processing facilities and other industrial facilities. It involves capturing CO2 emissions, transporting the captured CO2 to storage location, and securely storing underground for a long time. The term permanent storage is very often used. CCS technologies involving storage in underground geological formations are well established, and there are current a number of such ongoing projects, together with an increasing number of projects in the planning phase.

Saline aquifers can be leading CO2 permanent storage candidates. Deep saline formations or deep brine reservoirs exist world wide, making them potentially accessible CO2 storage candidates. However, not all saline formations can be considered suitable for long term commercially viable storage candidates. A number of critically important factors must be taken into account/verified, for example, CO2 containment assurance, social and environmental impact, and project commercial aspects. A project feasibility is normally recommended as a first step, whereby potential saline aquifer candidates are screened, ranked against for example accepted best international guidelines and criteria. Detailed feasibility study can follow once top ranked suitable candidate(s) are identified.

A comprehensive multi-discipline study was carried out looking at the potential for CO2 sequestration in deep saline aquifer formations within onshore Abu Dhabi. The area of interest is very large in scale (regional scale) and consists of multi stacked saline aquifer formations. The study has the added complexity that the same saline aquifer formations may be shared with near-by hydrocarbon exploration and production activities. The objectives were to analyze available geological data, oil field production and injection data, identify key constraining factors especially concerning CO2 containment assurance, arrive at regional storage capacity range estimates, and demonstrate site CO2 storage feasibility.

Considerable amount of geological data and studies are available, which can assist with regional Onshore Abu Dhabi saline aquifer formation geological characterization for CO2 storage assessment. The characterization synthesis forms the study basis. Dedicated regional scale 3D saline aquifer formations compositional dynamic models were constructed, capturing the key CO2 sequestration processes/mechanisms. Storage capacity estimates were obtained from the dynamic model – the results will be published separately. A comprehensive Risk Assessment was carried out. Risk assessment approach and MMV plan development are shared.

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