The FluidFlower experiment is a powerful experimental and communication tool — making visible what no one has ever seen before. A new video explains what happens to CO2 stored deep below the ocean’s surface. CSSR centre deputies Martin Fernø (UiB/NORCE) and Jan Martin Nordbotten (UiB/NORCE) explain the context of the experiments.
The video was produced by Wintershall Dea, an industry partner in CSSR.
June 19 – 22, the SIAM Conference on Mathematical & Computational Issues in the Geoscience (GS23) was held in Bergen. The conference was co-chaired by CSSR deputy director Jan Martin Nordbotten. In the Local Organizing Committee, we also recognize many others from the CSSR team: Sarah Gasda, Eirik Keilegavlen and Jakub Both.
The conference had 350 registered participants from the whole geoscience’s community. At the first day, the FluidFlower experimental rig was in the center of attention both in the icebreaker in the evening, and during several concurrent sessions. During the icebreaker Jan Nordbotten announced the first ever live experiment at a conference venue, as CO2 was injected in the FluidFlower in front of engaged participants! Our partner Wintershall Dea sponsored part of the icebreaker.
Throughout the week, the CSSR team participated in organizing 4 mini-symposiums, contributed to 15 scientific talks, presented posters, and promoted some of the research being done in our Centre. In addition, all our international partners represented by collogues from Imperial College London, Oregon State University, Stuttgart University, TNO, and TU Delft, contributed to the program.
The conference demonstrated that the FluidFlower experimental has become an arena for international verification of geological carbon storage simulation capabilities. In addition, much of the centers dedicated research on advanced methods for data-driven modeling in porous media applications was presented through the work of Birane Kane, Jakub Both, Eirik Keilegavlen and others. Our PhD student Peter von Schultzendorff gave a very interesting talk onTwo-Phase Flow with a Data-Driven Flux Mode.
The CSSR team was particularly visible in the mini-symposium onTesting Predictive Capabilities of Geologic CO2 Storage with Meter-Scale Laboratory Experiments, organized by CSSR deputy directors Martin Fernø and Jan Nordbotten. In the same mini-symposium, results from David Landa-Marban on An Open-Source Image-Based History Matching Framework for the FluidFlower Data Set was presented. The CSSR team was also co-organizing a mini symposium on Developing Complex Simulation software, which cumulated in an interesting panel debate where Tor Harald Sandve participated.
On Tuesday many of the delegates attended an exciting excursion to the Northern Lights CCS site in Øygarden. The conference-dinner on Wednesday was held in the spectacular venue at the Aquarium in Bergen. Overall, an inspiring week with many scientific discussions and highlights.
Over the last 2 years, CSSR deputy directors Martin Fernø (UiB/NORCE) and Jan Martin Nordbotten (UiB/NORCE), together with their research groups, have worked on developing the FluidFlower experimental rig to become an arena for international verification of geological carbon storage simulation capabilities.
This work is now culminating in a special issue of the journal Transport in Porous Media, with 15 contributed papers currently under review from around the world. The CSSR team is involved in seven of these papers, including the centerpieces of the effort. The interdisciplinary collaborative effort is a double-blind forecasting and validation study, where nine academic research groups active in numerical simulation of carbon storage from around the world forecasted the outcome of a carefully curated carbon storage operation in the FluidFlower (Flemisch et al.). The forecasting and validation study is made possible through a suite of laboratory work, involving petrophysical characterization and experiments, documented in detail to be available as a resource for carbon storage modelers worldwide (Fernø et al.). To bridge the gap between laboratory measurements and simulation technology required the development of DarSIA, a dedicated image analysis toolbox for porous media which has been released open-source (Nordbotten et al.).
The core papers mentioned above are supported by additional papers on the experimental methodology (Eikehaug et al.), detailed supporting experimental data (Haugen et al.) and the value of field-pilot type training data for operational forecasting (Saló-Salgado et al.). The final piece of the puzzle is showing how the learnings at the lab scale translate to the field scale, as analyzed by Tony Kovscek of Stanford University, who spent his sabbatical visiting Bergen during the fall of 2022 (Kovscek et al.).
A new review is published on subsurface CO2 and H2 storage: ‘Subsurface carbon dioxide & hydrogen storage for a sustainable energy future‘ from Krevor et al., in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment.. This is a forward looking review where we evaluate the feasibility of expanding subsurface CO2 storage into a global-scale business, and translate lessons to H2 storage.
CCS is poised for widespread deployment, and it will happen fast if we have any chance of tracking IPCC pathways. What’s the hold-up? CO2 storage capacity has historically lagged behind capture capacity by 7-10 years. 96% of the worldwide storage potential is undiscovered. For Europe that translates to 172 Gt of storage waiting to be developed. There are no technical showstoppers here. Industry and research need to work together to make more headway on assessment of new storage sites.
The paper provides an overview on:
➡ CCS Monitoring Technologies ➡ CCS Business Models ➡ Analogies and Differences between CCS and Hydrogen ➡ The importance of social licenses to operate these technologies ➡ Ways for communities & governments to work together
Contributions by CSSR researchers: Sarah Gasda (NORCE) and Hadi Hajibeygi (TU Delft).
The news agency Deutsche Welle (DW) was in Norway covering the official opening of the Northern Lights visitors centre and stopped by NORCE to hear the perspectives of carbon storage experts on how CCS can help reduce emissions safely and effectively. The reporters viewed new simulation results of the FluidFlower study also took a tour of the lab where CO2 storage experiments are conducted.
Watch the video report to hear excerpts of the expert interview with Sarah Gasda, CSSR director. Many thanks to Ketil Djurhuus, Morten Aara and David Landa Marban for supporting the site visit.
The annual seminar gathers representatives from research, academia, industry and the public sector from the greater Bergen region. A diverse and exciting two-day program highlighted cutting edge research and industrial innovations that will help accelerate deployment of CCUS technology in western Norway. Participants also had the unique opportunity to visit the Northern Lights site and hear the latest updates of the groundbreaking project.
The main message from participants is despite tremendous progress in recent years, time is running out! We need to move fast, we need to work together, and we need to innovate to reduce costs.
CSSR Centre Leaders Sarah Gasda and Martin Fernø have been invited to present CSSR and related CO2 storage research at a public lecture organized by NTVA, Academia Europaea and Tekna. The lecture will be held at the University Museum on May 24, 2022. A tour of the new exhibition “Vår Porøse Verden” and the FluidFlower will follow the lecture. Registration and further details are available on the UiB website.
UiB researchers have collaborated with the University Museum, Bergen on a new exhibition “Our Porous World” that familiarizes the public with how porous media research shapes our world, our health and our industry. Part of the exhibit is a live demonstration of CO2 storage in the Fluid Flower, which is a one-of-a-kind experimental infrastructure developed at UiB. CSSR will utilize the unique capabilities of the Fluid Flower to guide model design in Focus Area 1 and to the unique visual to build confidence in digital tools developed in Focus Area 2.