A 59-day drilling program has been successfully completed at CO2CRC’s Otway National CCS Research Centre, located at Nirranda South in south-west Victoria. On 18 September the last of four new 1600-metre-deep monitoring wells was drilled and cased with each well equipped with the latest technologies in fibre optics sensing and subsurface gauges. Pressure communication between wells has been confirmed and the seismic imaging system is functioning on all wells as designed.
The wells are part of CO2CRC’s biggest project to date, known as Otway Stage 3. The project is proving up technologies which provide data on demand, as well as reducing the cost and impact of long-term CO2 storage monitoring for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. The next six months will see teams from CSIRO and Curtin University calibrating the pressure tomography monitoring system and performing baseline seismic acquisitions using fibre optics cables and permanently deployed surface orbital vibrators.
“These new technologies provide data quicker, are much less invasive and cost significantly less than the seismic surveys currently used. Initial estimates show cost savings of up to 75 percent,” said David Byers, CEO of CO2CRC.
“Our hope is that the research will lead to more CCS projects around the world, allowing CCS to play a vital role in reducing emissions across all major industry sectors. As the International Energy Agency points out, without CCS as part of the solution, meeting global climate goals will be practically impossible,” he said.
With the support of its drilling management team, InGauge Energy, the drilling company, Easternwell Drilling and with multiple specialist service providers, the CO2CRC team drilled almost 7km of directional wells, ran 11km of steel casing, 13km of fibre optic cable and pumped 458 tonnes of cement. This represents the largest single project undertaken by CO2CRC in support of testing new and innovative techniques that will support current and future CCS projects both within Australia and globally.
The $45 million project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Education Investment Fund (EIF), COAL21 through ANLEC R&D, BHP and the Victorian State Government.
Technical and scientific work programs are being carried out in partnership with Curtin University and CSIRO and are expected to be complete by June 2022.
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