It is planned to invest at least $250 billion in developing major liquid natural gas (LNG) fields off north west Australia in the coming years.
Since many of the fields have a high natural CO2 content, and the LNG process requires removal of CO2 to liquefy the gas, there is a major interest not only in efficiently recovering the gas resource, but also in mitigating CO2 emissions via geosequestration injection and long-term storage of CO2 in deep rock formations.
The Centre for Petroleum Geoscience and CO2 Sequestration (CPGCO2), in the School of Earth and Environment, encompasses a broad range of expertise, including research into 3D and 4D seismic imaging of reservoirs and fluid flow within these rock formations.
4D seismic involves repeating 3D seismic surveys in time-lapse mode to image changes in the subsurface over time due to hydrocarbon production, and injection and storage of CO2. The main objectives are:
- to image the location of unproduced hydrocarbons and injected fluids such as water or CO2
- estimate the size and volume of the injected plume as it grows over time, and
- for geosequestration projects, to ensure that the CO2 remains safely stored for the long term and does not leak out back to the surface via breached seals or faults.
Our research has applications in advanced hydrocarbon exploration and recovery, unconventional energy resources, and long-term storage of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. We enjoy collaborations with research colleagues at CSIRO, WAERA, and international universities and national labs.